LAW: Introduced to Stop Medicare Physician Pay Cuts

By Health Capital Consultants, LLC

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Law Introduced to Stop Medicare Physician Pay Cuts

On September 13, 2022, Representatives Ami Berra (D-CA-7) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN-8) introduced the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 (H.R. 8800), which aims to infuse the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) with a 4.42% funding increase for 2023. With a bipartisan coalition of 12 co-sponsors, the bill would have the practical effect of negating the impending 4.42% cut to the MPFS conversion factor. This Health Capital Topics article will review the bill, discuss its support, and examine its potential implications. (Read more…)

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HOSPITALS: https://www.amazon.com/Financial-Management-Strategies-Healthcare-Organizations/dp/1466558733/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1380743521&sr=8-3&keywords=david+marcinko

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Medicare Part C [Advantage Plan] Allegations & Investigations

By Office of Inspector General and the HHS

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READ REPORT: https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/OEI-09-18-00260.asp

OIG: https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/OEI-09-18-00260.pdf

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BUSINESS MEDICINE: https://www.amazon.com/Business-Medical-Practice-Transformational-Doctors/dp/0826105750/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1448163039&sr=8-9&keywords=david+marcinko

HEALTH INSURANCE: https://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Health-Insurance-Managed-Care/dp/0826149944/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275315485&sr=1-4

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Medicare Cuts by Physician Specialty

Medicare cuts by specialty 1/1/2021

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Product DetailsProduct Details

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS: TV Ads are Deceiving?

By Dr. Keith L. Gurnick, DPM

[Los Angeles, CA via PM Online]

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Paid spokespersons consisting exclusively of older celebrities, including William Shatner, George Forman, Joe Namath, and Jimmie “J.J.” Walker read similar, if not exact, scripts in an attempt to induce the elderly to phone and check their “zip code” to see if they are eligible. I can’t figure out what the zip code has to do with anything, but maybe someone can help me to understand this fish hook?

As of November 2021, 42% of all Medicare eligible patients are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. Does the viewing public not wonder why there is never any mention at all during these commercials that changing to a Medicare Advantage plan means switching their traditional Medicare over to an HMO, and that most likely they will lose their network of doctors and possibly hospitals as well? 

Why don’t they just tell the truth?

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Health Insurance: https://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Health-Insurance-Managed-Care/dp/0826149944/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275315485&sr=1-4

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A Doctor – Economist’s Solution for Health Reform

My Laundry Wish List for all US Healthcare Stakeholders

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]Fox News

As President Obama spoke, prodded and cajoled for Congress to pass HR 3200-3400 in 2008, I believe that for any healthcare reform effort to work successfully for the American people – for the long term – we need to consider the following in no particular prioritized order:

  • Insurance portability uncoupled from patient employment
  • Health insurance regional exchanges with inter-state purchase competition
  • Doctor, drug, DME and hospital pricing and payment transparency for HSAs, and all of us
  • Modifying or eliminating AMA owned CPT Codes®; a huge money maker for them
  • Abandoning ala’ carte medicine for values-based outcomes
  • Reduce JCAHO influence; encourage competition from Norwegian Det Norske Veritas [DNV]
  • Reduce big-pharma influence thru-out the entire medical education, career and care pipeline
  • End DTC advertising from big-pharma
  • Promote wholesale drug purchase competition, MC bidding and generic drugs
  • Encourage evidence-based medicine, not expert-based medicine
  • Less pay for medical specialists with a  re-evaluation of the hospitalist concept
  • Advance the dying art of physical diagnosis, teach and embrace Paretto’s 80/20 rule for clinic issues
  • Reduce lab test, diagnostic imaging and testing
  • Encourage private 24/7/365 medical offices and clinics; and on-site and retail clinics
  • Abandon P4P, medical homes and disease management ideas
  • Give more economic skin-in-game to patients relative to health benchmarks
  • Concretize the “never-event” prohibitions and include a list of patient health responsibilities
  • More pay for primary care docs and internists
  • Adopt digital records and cloud computing for patients
  • Phase in true eHRs incrementally; and abandon CCHIT for open source SaaS
  • Promote Health 2.0 social media.
  • Augmented scope of practice, numbers and pay for NPs and DNPs, etc
  • Reduce pay for CRNAs and increase it for staff RNs
  • Develop step down triage and treatment units to reduce the number of full service ERs
  • Increase medical, osteopathic, dental, optometric and podiatric medical school classes
  • Increased practice scope for dentists, podiatrists and optometrists
  • Make some sort of catastrophic HI mandatory, much like auto insurance for all
  • End pre-existing conditon health insurance contract clauses
  • More choice  and end of life control for the terminally ill patient
  • Increase marketplace competition with fewer political and financial “externalities”.
  • Teach basic healthcare topics in school and encourage physical exercise
  • Health and insurance education should be, but is not, the “answer” for Americans
  • Protect borders and discourage undocumented illegals
  • Adopt medical malpractice tort reform
  • Make all stakeholders fiduciaries
  • No public “option” unless you like food stamps, Section 8 housing, public transportation and schools
  • Budget deficit neutrality
  • Slow down!

Assessment

Recently, while in the Baltimore/Washing area, I was asked by several reporters to opine on the healthcare debate; which I did so freely having never been known as the shy type. And, regular readers will note that many of these items have been used as posts or comments on this ME-P. Unfortunately, my “laundry list” interview was pre-empted by two local but boisterous town-hall meetings with respective passionate politicians. It was redacted no doubt, but never broadcast. Thus, I missed the potential for my “five minutes” of fame. C’est la vive!

Conclusion

There you have it; direct and straight forward. And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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INTERVIEW: A Healthcare Financing Solution for Entrepreneurs?

Former: CEO and Founder
Superior Consultant Company, Inc.
[SUPC-NASD]

EDITOR’S NOTE: I first met Rich in B-school, when I was a student, back in the day. He was the Founder and CEO of Superior Consultant Holdings Corp. Rich graciously wrote the Foreword to one of my first textbooks on financial planning for physicians and healthcare professionals. Today, Rich is a successful entrepreneur in the technology, health and finance space.

-Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA CMP®

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Staff & Contributors - CHAMPIONS OF WAYNE

By Richard Helppie

Today for your consideration – How to fix the healthcare financing methods in the United States?

I use the term “methods” because calling what we do now a “system” is inaccurate. I also focus on healthcare financing, because in terms of healthcare delivery, there is no better place in the world than the USA in terms of supply and innovation for medical diagnosis and treatment. Similarly, I use the term healthcare financing to differentiate from healthcare insurance – because insurance without supply is an empty promise.

This is a straightforward, 4-part plan. It is uniquely American and will at last extend coverage to every US citizen while not hampering the innovation and robust supply that we have today. As this is about a Common Bridge and not about ideology or dogma, there will no doubt be aspects of this proposal that every individual will have difficulty with. However, on balance, I believe it is the most fair and equitable way to resolve the impasse on healthcare funding . . . .

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

Let me start in an area sure to raise the ire of a few. And that is, we have to start with eliminating the methods that are in place today. The first is the outdated notion that healthcare insurance is tied to one’s work, and the second is that there are overlapping and competing tax-supported bureaucracies to administer that area of healthcare finance.

Step 1 is to break the link between employment and health insurance. Fastest way to do that is simply tax the cost of benefits for the compensation that it is. This is how company cars, big life insurance policies and other fringe benefits were trimmed. Eliminating the tax-favored treatment of employer-provided healthcare is the single most important change that should be made.

Yes, you will hear arguments that this is an efficient market with satisfied customers. However, upon examination, it is highly risky, unfair, and frankly out of step with today’s job market.

Employer provided health insurance is an artifact from the 1940’s as an answer to wage freezes – an employer could not give a wage increase, but could offer benefits that weren’t taxed. It makes no sense today for a variety of reasons. Here are a few:

1. Its patently unfair. Two people living in the same apartment building, each making the same income and each have employer provided health insurance. Chris in unit 21 has a generous health plan that would be worth $25,000 each year. Pays zero tax on that compensation. Pat, in unit 42 has a skimpy plan with a narrow network, big deductibles and hefty co-pays. The play is worth $9,000 each year. Pat pays zero tax.

3. The insurance pools kick out the aged. Once one becomes too old to work, they are out of the employer plan and on to the retirement plan or over to the taxpayers (Medicare).

4. The structure is a bad fit. Health insurance and healthy living are longitudinal needs over a long period of time. In a time when people change careers and jobs frequently, or are in the gig economy, they are not any one place long enough for the insurance to work like insurance.

5. Creates perverse incentives. The incentives are weighted to have employers not have their work force meet the standards of employees so they don’t have to pay for the health insurance. Witness latest news in California with Uber and Lyft.

6. Incentives to deny claims abound. There is little incentive to serve the subscriber/patient since the likelihood the employer will shop the plan or the employee will change jobs means that stringing out a claim approval is a profitable exercise.

7. Employers have difficulty as purchasers. An employer large enough to supply health insurance has a diverse set of health insurance needs in their work force. They pay a lot of money and their work force is still not 100% happy.

Net of it, health insurance tied to work has outlived its usefulness. Time to end the tax-favored treatment of employer-based insurance. If an employer wants to provide health insurance, they can do it, but the value of that insurance is reflected in the taxable W-2 wages – now Pat and Chris will be treated equally.

Step 2 is to consolidate the multiple tax-supported bureaus that supply healthcare. Relieve the citizens from having to prove they are old enough, disabled enough, impoverished enough, young enough. Combine Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, Tricare and even possibly the VA into a single bureaucracy. Every American Citizen gets this broad coverage at some level. Everyone pays something into the system – start at $20 a year, and then perhaps an income-adjusted escalator that would charge the most wealthy up to $75,000. Collect the money with a line on Form 1040.

I have not done the exact math. However, removing the process to prove eligibility and having one versus many bureaucracies has to generate savings. Are you a US Citizen? Yes, then here is your base insurance. Like every other nationalized system, one can expect longer waits, fewer referrals to a specialist, and less innovation. These centralized systems all squeeze supply of healthcare services to keep their spend down. The reports extolling their efficiencies come from the people whose livelihoods depend on the centralized system. However, at least everyone gets something. And, for life threatening health conditions, by and large the centralized systems do a decent job. With everyone covered, the fear of medical bankruptcy evaporates. The fear of being out of work and losing healthcare when one needs it most is gone.

So if you are a free market absolutist, then the reduction of vast bureaucracies should be attractive – no need for eligibility requirements (old enough, etc.) and a single administration which is both more efficient, more equitable (everyone gets the same thing). And there remains a private market (more on this in step 3) For those who detest private insurance companies a portion of that market just went away. There is less incentive to purchase a private plan. And for everyone’s sense of fairness, the national plan is funded on ability to pay. Bearing in mind that everyone has to pay something. Less bureaucracies. Everyone in it together. Funded on ability to pay.

Step 3 is to allow and even encourage a robust market for health insurance above and beyond the national plan – If people want to purchase more health insurance, then they have the ability to do so. Which increases supply, relieves burden on the tax-supported system, aligns the US with other countries, provides an alternative to medical tourism (and the associated health spend in our country) and offers a bit of competition to the otherwise monopolistic government plan.

Its not a new concept, in many respects it is like the widely popular Medigap plans that supplement what Medicare does not cover.

No one is forced to make that purchase. Other counties’ experience shows that those who choose to purchase private coverage over and above a national plan often cite faster access, more choice, innovation, or services outside the universal system, e.g., a woman who chooses to have mammography at an early age or with more frequency than the national plan might allow.  If the insurance provider can offer a good value to the price, then they will sell insurance. If they can deliver that value for more than their costs, then they create a profit. Owners of the company, who risk their capital in creating the business may earn a return.

For those of you who favor a free market, the choices are available. There will be necessary regulation to prevent discrimination on genetics, pre-existing conditions, and the like. Buy the type of plan that makes you feel secure – just as one purchases automobile and life insurance.For those who are supremely confident in the absolute performance of a centralized system to support 300+ million Americans in the way each would want, they should like this plan as well – because if the national plan is meeting all needs and no one wants perhaps faster services, then few will purchase the private insurance and the issuers will not have a business. Free choice. More health insurance for those who want it. Competition keeps both national and private plans seeking to better themselves.

Step 4 would be to Permit Access to Medicare Part D to every US Citizen, Immediately

One of the bright spots in the US Healthcare Financing Method is Medicare Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage to seniors. It is running at 95% subscriber satisfaction and about 40% below cost projections.

Subscribers choose from a wide variety of plans offered by private insurance companies. There are differences in formularies, co-pays, deductibles and premiums.

So there you have it, a four part plan that would maintain or increase the supply of healthcare services, universal insurance coverage, market competition, and lower costs. Its not perfect but I believe a vast improvement over what exists today. To recap:

1. Break the link between employment and healthcare insurance coverage, by taxing the benefits as the compensation they are.

2. Establish a single, universal plan that covers all US citizens paid for via personal income taxes on an ability-to-pay basis.  Eliminate all the other tax-funded plans in favor of this new one.

3. For those who want it, private, supplemental insurance to the national system, ala major industrialized nations.

4. Open Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) to every US citizen. Today.

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Medicare for All?

OR

Worse Care for All?

THE CBO OPINES

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Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has announced that as early as next week, his committee will hold a hearing “on the need to pass a Medicare for All single-payer program.”  

Sanders gets an “A” for passion, but an “F” in compassion.  

But, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has cautioned that Sanders’ Medicare for All bill would create “a shortage of providers, longer wait times, and changes in the quality of care.” 

MORE: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/medicare-for-all-would-mean-worse-care-for-all/ar-AAWVDo6?li=BBnb7Kz

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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MEDICARE Fraud and Abuse Scams

REPORTING SCAMS

By Staff Reporters

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LINK: https://www.medicare.gov/basics/reporting-medicare-fraud-and-abuse

BLOG: https://www.medicare.gov/blog/how-to-protect-medicare-card

SPOOFS: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=medicare+phone+scams&&view=detail&mid=147902000F772B221DC9147902000F772B221DC9&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dmedicare%2Bphone%2Bscams%26FORM%3DHDRSC3

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RISK MANAGEMENT: https://www.amazon.com/Management-Liability-Insurance-Protection-Strategies-ebook/dp/B01A8TCDES/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=david+marcinko&qid=1652959760&sr=8-1

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The GAP between Medicare and Commercial Hospital Prices

THE GAP INCREASES!

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By Health Capital Consultants, LLC

Gap between Medicare and Commercial Hospital Prices Increases

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A recent study examined the growth in hospital prices paid by commercial health insurance companies compared to Medicare over a seven-year period and found that commercial health plan rates were, on average, 180% higher than Medicare rates as of 2019.

While the national ratio between commercial and Medicare hospital payment growth rates remained relatively stable during the seven-year study period, ratios varied widely on a regional basis. This Health Capital Topics article will discuss this recent study and its implications. (Read more…)

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Can Doctors Afford to Retire Early – TODAY?

By Staff Reporters

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You’ve got a sense of your ideal retirement age. And you’ve probably made certain plans based on that timeline. But what if you’re forced to retire sooner than you expect? Aging baby-boomers, corporate medicine, the medical practice great resignation and/or the pandemic, etc?

RESIGNATION: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2021/12/12/healthcare-industry-hit-with-the-great-resignation-retirement/

Early retirement is nothing new, but it’s clear how much the COVID-19 pandemic has affected an aging workforce. Whether due to downsizing, objections to vaccine mandates, concerns about exposure risks, other health issues, or the desire for more leisure time, the retired general population grew by 3.5 million over the past two years—compared to an annual average of 1 million between 2008 and 2019—according to the Pew Research Center.1 At the same time, a survey conducted by the National Institute on Retirement Security revealed that more than half of Americans are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their ability to achieve a secure retirement.2

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There’s no need to panic, but those numbers make one thing clear, says Rob Williams, managing director of financial planning, retirement income, and wealth management for the Schwab Center for Financial Research. Flexible and personalized financial planning that addresses how you’d cope if you had to retire early can help you make the best use of all your resources. 

So – Here are six steps to follow. We’ll use as an example a person who’s seeing if they could retire five years early, but the steps remain the same regardless of your individual time frame.

Step 1: Think strategically about pension and Social Security benefits

For most retirees, Social Security and (to a lesser degree) pensions are the two primary sources of regular income in retirement. You usually can collect these payments early—at age 62 for Social Security and sometimes as early as age 55 with a pension. However, taking benefits early will mean that you get smaller monthly benefits for the rest of your life. That can matter to your bottom line, even if you expect Social Security to be merely the icing on your retirement cake.

On the Social Security website, you can find a projection of what your benefits would be if you were pushed to claim them several years early. But if you’re part of a two-income couple, you may want to make an appointment at a Social Security office or with a financial professional to weigh the potential options.

For example, when you die, your spouse is eligible to receive your monthly benefit if it’s higher than his or her own. But if you claim your benefits early, thus receiving a reduced amount, you’re likewise limiting your spouse’s potential survivor benefit.

If you have a pension, your employer’s pension administrator can help estimate your monthly pension payments at various ages. Once you have these estimates, you’ll have a good idea of how much monthly income you can count on at any given point in time.

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Step 2: Pressure-test your 401(k)

In addition to weighing different strategies to maximize your Social Security and/or pension, evaluate how much income you could potentially derive from your personal retirement savings—and there’s a silver lining here if you’re forced to retire early. 

Rule of 55

Let’s say you leave your job at any time during or after the calendar year you turn 55 (or age 50 if you’re a public safety employee with a government defined-benefit plan). Under a little-known separation-of-service provision, often referred to as the “rule of 55,” you may be able take distributions (though some plans may allow only one lump-sum withdrawal) from your 401(k), 403(b), or other qualified retirement plan free of the usual 10% early-withdrawal penalties. However, be aware that you’ll still owe ordinary income taxes on the amount distributed. 

This exception applies only to the plan (including any consolidated accounts) that you were contributing to when you separated from service. It does not extend to IRAs. 

4% rule

There’s also a simple rule of thumb suggesting that if you spend 4% or less of your savings in your first year of retirement and then adjust for inflation each year following, your savings are likely to last for at least 30 years—given that you make no other changes to your withdrawals, such as a lump sum withdrawal for a one-time expense or a slight reduction in withdrawals during a down market. 

To see how much monthly income you could count on if you retired as expected in five years, multiply your current savings by 4% and divide by 12. For example, $1 million x .04 = $40,000. Divide that by 12 to get $3,333 per month in year one of retirement. (Again, you could increase that amount with inflation each year thereafter.) Then do the same calculation based on your current savings to see how much you’d have to live on if you retired today. Keep in mind that your money will have to last five years longer in this instance.

Knowing the monthly amount your current savings can generate will give you a clearer sense of whether you’ll have a shortfall—and how large or small it might be. Use our retirement savings calculator to test different saving amounts and time frames.

Step 3: Don’t forget about health insurance, doctor!

Nobody wants to spend down a big chunk of their retirement savings on unanticipated healthcare costs in the years between early retirement and Medicare eligibility at age 65. If you lose your employer-sponsored health insurance, you’ll want to find some coverage until you can apply for Medicare. 

Your options may include continuing employer-sponsored coverage through COBRA, insurance enrollment through the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, or joining your spouse’s health insurance plan. You may also find discounted coverage through organizations you belong to—for example, the AARP. 

Step 4: Create a post-retirement budget

To make sure your retirement savings will cover your expenses, add up the monthly income you could get from pensions, Social Security, and your savings. Then, compare the total to your anticipated monthly expenses (including income taxes) if you were to retire five years early and are eligible, and choose to file, for Social Security and pension benefits earlier. 

Take into account various life events and expenditures you may encounter. You may not pay off your mortgage by the date you’d planned. Your spouse might still be working (which can add income but also prolong certain expenses). Or your children might not be out of college yet. 

You’re probably fine if you anticipate that your monthly expenses will be lower than your income. But if you think your expenses would be higher than your early-retirement income, some suggest that you take one or more of these measures:

  • Retire later; practice longer.
  • Save more now to fill some of the potential gap.
  • Trim your budget so there’s less of a gap down the road.
  • Consider options for medical consulting or part-time work—and begin to explore some of those opportunities now.

To the last point, finding a physician job later in life can be challenging, but certain employment agencies specialize in this area. If you can find work you like that covers a portion of your expenses, you’ll have the option of delaying Social Security and your company pension to get higher payments later—and you can avoid dipping into your retirement savings prematurely. 

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

ORDER: https://www.routledge.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

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Step 5: Protect your portfolio

When you retire early, you have to walk a fine line with your portfolio’s asset allocation—investing aggressively enough that your money has the potential to grow over a long retirement, but also conservatively enough to minimize the chance of big losses, particularly at the outset.

“Risk management is especially important during the first few years of retirement or if you retire early,” Rob notes, because it can be difficult to bounce back from a loss when you’re drawing down income from your portfolio and reducing the overall number of shares you own.  

To strike a balance between growth and security, start by making sure you have enough money stashed in relatively liquid, relatively stable investments—such as money market accounts, CDs, or high-quality short-term bonds—to cover at least a year or two of living expenses. Divide the rest of your portfolio among stocks, bonds, and other fixed-income investments. And don’t hesitate to seek professional help to arrive at the right mix. 

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CMP logo

SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Many people are unaccustomed to thinking about their expenses because they simply spend what they make when working, Rob says. But one of the most valuable decisions you can make about your life in retirement is to reevaluate where your money is going now.

This serves two aims. First, it’s a reality check on the spending plan you’ve envisioned for retirement, which may be idealized (e.g., “I’ll do all the home maintenance and repairs!”). Second, it enables you to adjust your spending habits ahead of schedule—whichever schedule you end up following. This gives you more control and potentially more income. 

Step 6: Reevaluate your current spending

For example, if you’re not averse to downsizing, moving to a less expensive home could reduce your monthly mortgage, property tax, and insurance payments while freeing up equity that could also be invested to provide additional monthly income.

“When you are saving for retirement, time is on your side”. You lose that advantage when you’re forced to retire early, but having a backup plan that anticipates the possibility of an early retirement can make the unknowns you face a lot less daunting.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

References:

1Richard Fry, “Amid the Pandemic, A Rising Share Of Older U.S. Adults Are Now Retired”, Pew Research Center, 11/04/2021, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/11/04/amid-the-pandemic-a-rising-share-of-older-u-s-adults-are-now-retired/.

2Tyler Bond, Don Doonan and Kelly Kenneally, “Retirement Insecurity 2021: Americans’ Views of Retirement”, Nirsonline.Org, 02/2021, https://www.nirsonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/FINAL-Retirement-Insecurity-2021-.pdf.

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Valuation of Home Health Agencies [The Reimbursement Environment]

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By Health Capital Consultants, LLC

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Valuation of Home Health Agencies: Reimbursement Environment

The U.S. government is the largest payor of medical costs, through Medicare and Medicaid, and has a strong influence on reimbursement for home healthcare services. In 2020, Medicare and Medicaid accounted for an estimated $829.5 billion and $671.2 billion in healthcare spending, respectively. The outsized prevalence of these public payors in the healthcare marketplace often results in their acting as a price setter, and being used as a benchmark for private reimbursement rates. This effect may be even stronger in the home health industry.

The third installment of this home health valuation series will discuss the reimbursement environment in which these organizations operate. (Read more…) 

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

COMMENTS APPRECIATED

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Update on COVID-19 Booster Shots

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Update on COVID-19 booster shots
In case you missed it: If you or a loved one are 50 or older, or are moderately or severely immunocompromised, you can get an additional Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster shot at no cost to you.

The CDC recommends an additional booster shot for certain individuals to increase protection from severe disease from COVID-19. People over the age of 50, or who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, can get an additional booster of Pfizer or Moderna 4 months after their last dose.

This is especially important for those 65 and older who are at higher risk from severe disease and most likely to benefit from getting an additional booster.

Learn More: Remember: Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine, including booster shots, at no cost to you. Find a COVID-19 vaccine location near you.

Sincerely
The Medicare Team

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MORE: https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus?utm_campaign=20220406_cvd_prv_gal&utm_content=english&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

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PODCASTS: All You Need to Know About Government Healthcare

By Eric Bricker MD

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1) Traditional Medicare: Health Insurance for Seniors 65 and older. Medicare Part A is coverage for hospital services. Medicare Part B is coverage for doctor, physical therapist and other provider services and for outpatient services such as labs and imaging.

2) Medicare Advantage: Health Insurance for Seniors 65 and older administered through a private health insurance company. It is sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C. It can be chosen instead of Traditional Medicare and often includes Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Hearing Aid Insurance and Prescription Drug Coverage.

3) Medicare Part D Prescription Coverage: Additional insurance for people on Traditional Medicare to cover their prescription medications as well. Medicare Part D is administered by private insurance companies.

4) Medicare Supplement Plans: Insurance that can be purchased in addition to Traditional Medicare to cover the expenses that Traditional Medicare does not cover, such as hospitalization deductibles and Medicare Part B co-insurance.

5) Medicaid: The health insurance program administered by each state for it’s economically disadvantaged residents. It is funded in part by the Federal Government and in part by each state. It is administered by private health insurance companies.

6) Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchange Plans: Health insurance for people under 65 who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but do not received health insurance through their employer. ACA Exchange Plans are subsidized by the Federal Government and administered by private insurance companies.

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PODCAST: Hospital “Out-Patient” Department Pricing Explained

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Hospitals Are Paid More for SAME SERVICE in Outpatient Department Than Doctors Are Paid in Office.

For Example, the SAME Echocardiogram Costs $600 in a Hospital Outpatient Department and $250 in a Doctor’s Office.

By Dr. Eric Bricker MD

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PODCAST: Medicare Outsources Paying Claims

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The US Federal Government Does NOT Process Medicare Claims.

By Eric Bricker MD

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

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PODCAST: Healthcare is Great for People with Medicare.

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Greater than 90% of Medicare Beneficiaries Are Satisfied with Their Care

By Eric Bricker MD

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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Average Annual Healthcare Growth Rates of Spending, Utilization and Price

By Staff Reporters

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Average Annual Growth Rates of Spending, Utilization, and Prices

 •  Spending per person: commercial insurers (3.2% per year); Medicare fee for service (1.8% per year)
 •  Utilization per person: commercial insurers (0.4% per year); Medicare fee for service (0.5% per year)
 •  Prices paid to providers: commercial insurers (2.7% per year); Medicare fee for service (1.3% per year).

Notes: For hospitals and physicians’ services, 2013-2018
Source: Congressional Budget Office – January 2022

“The Prices That Commercial Health Insurers and Medicare Pay for Hospitals’ and Physicians’ Services”
 

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PODCAST: Medicare Provider Payment Changes

By Eric Bricker MD

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Announce Changes to Doctor and Healthcare Provider Payments

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

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PODCAST Related Medical Payments: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2021/10/01/podcast-on-medicare-payments-to-doctors/

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PODCASTS: Medicare Cost Reports Explained

By Eric Bricker MD

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PODCAST: Medicare Bad Debt Reimbursement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMa4at0wlRU

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New Study Compares Medicare-Commercial Payment Gaps by Specialty

New Study Compares Medicare-Commercial Payment Gaps by Specialty

BY HEALTH CAPITAL CONSULTANTS


Utilizing data from FAIR Health, the Urban Institute conducted an October 2021 study which reviewed commercial insurance claims across the U.S. (for approximately 60 insurers and third-party administrators covering over 150 million Americans under age 65) from March 2019 through February 2020.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

This study assessed the gap between commercial insurance payments and Medicare payments for professional physician services to determine whether the payment gap between Medicare and commercial insurance differs by specialty. (Read more…)

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PODCAST: The RAND Corporation Found that Commercial Health Insurance Plans Pay Hospitals 241% What Medicare Pays

The RAND Corporation Found that Commercial Health Insurance Plans Pay Hospitals 241% What Medicare Pays.

But Also That It Varies from 150% to 400%.

Dr. Boram (Kim) Park, MD - Dallas, TX | Internal Medicine

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

Health Insurance Companies Paid for Hospital Outpatient Services at an Even Higher Average Rate of 293% of Medicare.

A Detailed Look at the RAND Analysis Reveals that the ‘Basket’ of Services at Each Hospital Had Very Little Data.

For Example, the RAND Study’s Data for the Baylor Scott & White Hospital System in Dallas – Fort Worth Represented Only 0.4% of the Hospital’s Total Revenue.

For the Texas Health Hospital System Also in Dallas – Fort Worth, the RAND Study’s Data Only Represented 0.96% of the Hospital’s Total Revenue.

That Sample Size Is Likely Too Small to Make Accurate Comparisons from One Hospital System to Another Regarding their Commercial Insurance Prices Relative to Medicare.

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

THANK YOU

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PODCAST: Medicare Hospital Re-Admission Penalties

EXPLAINED!

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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The Health Economic Costs Moving from Adult EMPLOYER Sponsored Health Insurance to MEDICARE Coverage

Impact of Moving Older Adults from Employer Coverage to Medicare

Peterson-KFF’s recent brief “How Lowering the Medicare Eligibility Age Might Affect Employer-Sponsored Insurance Costs” explores potential percent reduction in employer health plan spending if all enrollees in age group leave large employer-sponsored coverage.

The brief found:

 •  Ages 60-64 would cause a 15% reduction
 •  Ages 55-64 would cause a 30% reduction
 •  Ages 50-64 would cause a 43% reduction

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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Understanding Medicare options to help make confident ...

Source: Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, “How Lowering the Medicare Eligibility Age Might Affect Employer-Sponsored Insurance Costs”

Your thoughts are appreciated.

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COVID-19 UPDATE: Vaccine Booster Shots

BY MEDICARE TEAM

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Important update on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots
If you previously got 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, you can get a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine if you fall into one of these groups:

You’re 65 and older,You’re 18+ and have certain underlying medical conditions, or
You’re 18+ and work or live in a high-risk setting.

You can get your booster shot at least 6 months after you complete your second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The booster shot can help strengthen and prolong your protection against COVID-19.

Learn More: Visit CDC.gov for more information on other groups already vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine that may be eligible for a booster shot.

Remember: Medicare covers a Pfizer vaccine booster shot at no cost to you.

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Oregon says it's ready to provide COVID-19 booster shots to those eligible,  but asks for patience - KTVZ

Sincerely,
The Medicare Team
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PODCAST: APPEALS of Medicare Advantage [Part C] Plans

BY CMS

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PODCAST: Medicare Financial Matters

WHAT COUNTS AS INCOME SOURCES?

BY CMS

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors : Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™ book cover

RISK MANAGEMENT: https://www.routledge.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

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Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

FINANCIAL PLANNING: https://www.routledge.com/Comprehensive-Financial-Planning-Strategies-for-Doctors-and-Advisors-Best/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781482240283

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Benefits of Healthcare Participation in Multiple Medical Payment Models

BY HEALTH CAPITAL CONSULTANTS, LLC

New Research Explores Benefits of Participation in Multiple Payment Models


An August 2021 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analyzed medical and surgical episodes of care in U.S. hospitals to determine whether outcomes differed in hospitals that participated in Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Initiative depending on whether the patient being treated was attributed to a Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) accountable care organization (ACO).

This Health Capital Topics article will discuss the study’s findings and potential policy implications. (Read more…)

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Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

ORE: https://www.routledge.com/Comprehensive-Financial-Planning-Strategies-for-Doctors-and-Advisors-Best/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781482240283

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PODCAST: On Medicare PAYMENTS to Doctors

TO SPECIFIC PHYSICIANS

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

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MORE: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2014/04/13/how-much-your-doctor-received-from-medicare/

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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PODCAST: Medicare and Nursing Home / Long Term Care

By CMS

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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PODCAST: Why Insurance Carriers Want MEDICARE-FOR-ALL

WHY M-4-A?

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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PODCAST: Understanding Your Medicare Choices

ORIGINAL MEDICARE, PART C, MEDIGAP AND YOU

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

BY MEDICARE – CMS

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PODCAST: The Four [4] Parts of Medicare

UNDERSTAND AND KNOW THE DIFFERENCE: A, B C & D

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

BY MEDICARE – CMS

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What’s the Latest on MEDICARE DRUG PRICE Negotiations?

BY KFF

Prescription drug costs are a major concern for consumers and a fiscal challenge for public and private payers, representing 10% of national health spending and nearly 20% of health benefit costs for large employers and Medicare.

In response, lawmakers are considering a broad range of policy options, including one that would allow the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries and people enrolled in private plans, a proposal that has strong bipartisan public support.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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Could Negotiating Medicare Drug Prices Save $300 Billion Per Year? |  Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

This brief describes the current status of drug price negotiation proposals, looks back at the history of proposals to give the federal government the authority to negotiate drug prices in Medicare, describes the negotiation provisions in key legislation (H.R. 3), and discusses the potential spending effects for the federal government and individuals.

READ: https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/whats-the-latest-on-medicare-drug-price-negotiations/

UPDATE: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/medicare-trustees-sound-alarm-but-progressives-press-ahead-with-irresponsible-medicare-expansion/ar-AAOh6EA?li=BBnb7Kz

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MedPAC Examines Private Equity in Medicare

MedPAC Examines Private Equity Involvement in Medicare

By Health Capital Consultants, LLC


In 2020, at the request of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means (the Committee), the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) began investigating the role that private equity (PE) plays in healthcare provided to Medicare beneficiaries.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

In its June 2021 “Report to the Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System,” MedPAC included for the first time a chapter on PE’s effect on Medicare, wherein it discussed the findings and observations from its investigation and answered a number of questions posed by the Committee. This Health Capital Topics article will analyze MedPAC’s answers to those questions, review its investigation of PE’s role in healthcare, and summarize reactions from stakeholders. (Read more…)

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

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PODCAST: Traditional Medicare Part A for Hospital Coverage and Part B for Physician and Outpatient Services

UNDERSTAND AND KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

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Are Today’s Doctors Desperate?

Emotions Rise with Healthcare Reform

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

NOTE:  I penned this essay more than a decade ago.dem2

Managed care is a prospective payment method where medical care is delivered regardless of the quantity or frequency of service, for a fixed payment, in the aggregate. It is not traditional fee-for-service medicine or the individual personal care of the past, but is essentially utilitarian in nature and collective in intent. Will new-age healthcare reform be even more draconian?

Unhappy Physicians

There are many reasons why doctors are professionally and financially unhappy, some might even say desperate, because of managed care; not to mention the specter of healthcare reform from the Obama administration. For example:

  • A staggering medical student loan debt burden of $100,000-250,000 is not unusual for new practitioners. The federal Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) program reported that for the Year 2000, it squeezed significant repayment settlements from its Top 5 list of deadbeat doctor debtors. This included a $303,000 settlement from a New York dentist, $186,000 from a Florida osteopath, $158,000 from a New Jersey podiatrist, $128,000 from a Virginia podiatrist, and $120,000 from a Virginia dentist. The agency also excluded 303 practitioners from Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs and had their cases referred for nonpayment of debt.
  • Because of the flagging economy, medical school applications nationwide have risen. “Previously, there were a lot of different opportunities out there for young bright people”; according to Rachel Pentin-Maki; RN, MHA”; not so today. In fact, Physicians Practice Digest recently stated, “Medicine is fast becoming a job in which you work like a slave, eke out a middle class existence, and have patients, malpractice insurers, and payers questioning your motives.” Remarkably, the Cornell University School of Continuing Education has designed a program to give prospective medical school students a real-world peek, both good and bad.

The Ripple Effects of Managed Care and Reform

“Many people who are currently making a great effort and investment to become doctors may be heading for a role and a way of life that are fundamentally different from what they expect and desire,” according to Stephen Scheidt, MD, director of the $1,000 Cornell fee program; why?

  • Fewer fee-for-service patients and more discounted patients.
  • More paperwork and scrutiny of decisions with lost independence and morale.
  • Reputation equivalency (i.e., all doctors in the plan must be good), or commoditization (i.e., a doctor is a doctor is a doctor).
  • The provider is at risk for (a) utilization and acuity, (b) actuarial accuracy, (c) cost of delivering medical care, and (d) adverse patient selection.
  • Practice costs are increasing beyond the core rate of inflation.
  • Medicare reimbursements are continually cut.

Mad Obama

Early Opinions

Richard Corlin MD, opined back in 2002 that “these are circumstances that cannot continue because we are going to see medical groups disappearing.” Furthermore, he stated, “This is an emergency that lawmakers have to address.” Such cuts also stand to hurt physicians with private payers since commercial insurers often tie their reimbursement schedules to Medicare’s resources. “That’s the ripple effect here,” says Anders Gilberg, the Washington lobbyist for the Medical Group Management Associations (MGMA).

Assessment

And so, some desperate doctors are pursing these sources of relief, among many others:

  • A growing number of doctors are abandoning traditional medicine to start “boutique” practices that are restricted to patients who pay an annual retainer of $1,500 and up for preferred services and special attention. Franchises for the model are also available.
  • Regardless of location, the profession of medicine is no longer ego-enhancing or satisfying; some MDs retire early or leave the profession all together. Few recommend it, as a career anymore.

Assessment

To compound the situation, it is well known that doctors are notoriously poor investors and do not attend to their own personal financial well being, as they expertly minister to their patients’ physical illnesses.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Tell us what you think? Are you a desperate doctor? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos 

References:

  1. www.managedcaremagazine.com/archives/9809/9809/.qna_dickey.shtml
  2. www.hrsa.dhhs.gov/news-pa/heal.htm
  3. www.bhpr.hrsa.gov/dsa/sfag/health-professions/bk1prt4.htm
  4. Pamela L. Moore, “Can We All Just Get Along: Bridging the Generation Gap, Physicians Practice Digest (May/June 2001).

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

PODCAST: How Much Does Medicare Actually Pay Each Doctor?

Medicare Released Data on What It Paid To Each Doctor in America from 2012 to 2015 and the Wall Street Journal Compiled That Information Into an Amazing Searchable Database.

Texas CEO Magazine Eric Bricker 1 - SO 14 - Texas CEO Magazine

BY DR. ERIC BRICKER MD

The Findings:

1) Some Individual Doctors Were Paid Upwards of $5.8 Million Dollars by Medicare in Just a Single Year!

2) The Specialists That Charged Medicare the Most Tended to Be Vascular Surgeons, Ophthalmologists, Oncologists and Cardiologists.

Implications for Employer-Sponsored Health Plans:

1) Medicare Data Can Be Used to Identify High Volume Physicians and Surgeons.

2) The Highest-Costing Doctors Are Concentrated in a Relatively Small Number of Specialties That Can Be Targeted for Detailed Review, Feedback and Possible Exclusion/Steerage Away.

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Citation: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

THANK YOU

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PODCAST: The Future of Healthcare Looks to Medicare’s Past?

See the Future of Healthcare By Looking to Medicare’s Past

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Texas CEO Magazine 2016 Economic Forecast: Dallas - Texas ...

BY DR. ERIC BRICKER MD

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Desire for a Healthcare ‘Safety Net’ Goes Back Almost 100 years to President F.D.R. and His “New Deal

FDR Was Able to Pass Social Security, but He Also Wanted a Healthcare Safety Net Too.

Presidents Truman and Kennedy Also Wanted a Federally-Funded Healthcare Safety Net.

LBJ Carried the Torch of the Healthcare Safety Net. He Was Able to Have Medicare Legislation Passed in 1965 by Combining 3 Separate Proposals and Acts:

1) Hospital Insurance

2) Doctor Insurance That Was Voluntary

3) the State-Administered Kerr-Mills Act 

Hospital Insurance Became Medicare Part A. Doctor Insurance Became Medicare Part B. The Kerr-Mills Act Became Medicaid.

Presidents Carter and Clinton Also Wanted to Expand the Healthcare Safety Net. President Obama Expanded the Healthcare Safety Net with Passage of Obamacare. President Biden is Seeking to Expand the Healthcare Safety Net Too.

The Arc of Government-Funded Healthcare Stretches Back Almost 100 Years and Will Inevitably Result in the Full Government Payment for Healthcare in America.

It’s Not a Question of If, But When.

Implication: United Health Group is Making Many Acquisitions to Become a Vertically Integrated Healthcare Company to Position Itself as a Major Government Contractor for the Eventual Federal Takeover.

PODCAST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAh7Rl7w1wM

Your thoughts are appreciated.

THANK YOU

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PODCAST: Have You Received Your COVID-19 Vaccine, Yet?


Have you gotten your COVID-19 vaccine yet?

Haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccine yet? Now’s your chance! Find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you quickly and easily with the redesigned Vaccines.gov website. Vaccines.gov COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 — and an important tool to help us get back to normal.

And remember, the vaccine is available at no cost to you at doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals and retail pharmacies across the country.

Already vaccinated? That’s great! Visit CDC.gov to see the activities you can do safely when you’ve been fully vaccinated.
"I got mine. Be next." with smiling woman image. Linked to video.

PLAY PODCAST VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aPihNXV_wQ#utm_campaign=20210519_cvd_prv_gal_v1&utm_content=english&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Note: Bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card (or Medicare Number) when you go to get your vaccine.

Sincerely,

The Medicare Team

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Medicare Buy-In Policies for Older Adults on Health Insurance Coverage and Health Care Spending

RESEARCH REPORT

The Effects of Medicare Buy-In Policies for Older Adults on Health Insurance Coverage and Health Care Spending

  • Bowen Garrett
  • Jessica Banthin
  • Anuj Gangopadhyaya
  • Matthew Buettgens
  • Adele Shartzer
  • John Holahan
  • Diane Arnos

December2020 (corrected February 2021)

LINK:

https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/103348/the-effects-of-medicare-buy-in-policies-for-older-adults-on-health-insurance-coverage-and-health-care-spending.pdf#:~:text=The%20Effects%20of%20Medicare%20Buy-In%20Policies%20for%20Older,Medicare%20to%20purchase%20a%20Medicare-like%20health%20insurance%20plan.

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Gap Between Private Insurance and Medicare Hospital Payments Increased in 2018

Click to access PAYMENT.pdf

 

 

RACIAL DISPARIETIES AMONGT MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES

AT HIGH-PERFORMANCE HOSPITALS

By http://www.MCOL.com

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The Middle Class Cost of M-4-A

Medicare for All

By Rick Kahler MSFS CFP

The concept of “Medicare for All” is getting a lot of attention in the 2020 Presidential race. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s promise that it will not cost the middle-class “one penny” has much appeal.

While most Americans support providing free medical care to those who need it most, making it with no additional cost to the middle class would be something never before accomplished by any country that has universal health care. The middle class in those countries pay income taxes of up to 40% and a national sales tax equivalent of 15% to 25%.

Recently, Senator Warren revealed how she will finance her plan. She estimates the cost over a decade at $20 trillion in new federal spending. Estimates by six independent financial organizations are higher, ranging from $28 trillion to $36 trillion.

Here are some of the general provisions of her plan.

1.                            She would tax both employers and employees an amount equivalent to what they currently pay in health insurance premiums. This will bring in $11 trillion.

2.                            She would increase taxes on the top 1% of individuals and large corporations to generate $7 trillion.

3.                            The balance of the money needed, $2 to $18 trillion (depending on whether you believe Ms. Warren’s numbers or the other six independent estimates) would come from new-found efficiencies, tax enforcement, and reductions in wasteful spending. There is widespread doubt that this is even remotely possible.

A Forbes article describing the tax increases aimed at wealthy individuals caught my attention. These increases include:

·                                 Adding a wealth tax of 2% to 6% on household net worth above $50 million

·                                 Eliminating the favorable tax rate on capital gains

·                                 Increasing the “Obamacare” tax from 3.8% to 14.8% on net investment income above $250,000

·                                 Eliminating the step-up in basis for inheritors

·                                 Increasing the salary subject to Social Security from $132,900 to $250,000

·                                 Lowering the estate tax exemption from $12 million to $7 million

·                                 Establishing a financial transaction tax of 0.10%.

The capital gains tax increase, the step-up in basis, and the financial transaction tax will all affect middle class investors, potentially including anyone with a 401(k) or an IRA. The American Retirement Association estimates that the financial transaction tax alone will cost the average 401k and IRA investor over $1,500 a year.

Diann Howland, vice president of legislative affairs at the American Benefits Council, cited in an article in InvestmentNews, called the proposal “not a great thing to do to the middle class.”

The 0.1% financial transaction tax is more damaging than it might seem at first glance. It applies to all the securities sold and purchased within a mutual fund or ETF, as well as the purchase and sale of the funds by investors. By my calculations it can easily add a cost of 0.20% to 0.30% a year to every fund investment. Given that some index mutual funds only charge 0.10% in total expenses, that’s a cost increase of 200% to 300%.

Eliminating the step-up in basis on inheritances and the favorable capital gains tax rate will also affect the middle class. According to a 2013 survey by HSBC Bank, retirees expected to leave their heirs an average of $177,000. If the average basis is one-half of what’s inherited, the elimination of step-up in basis and capital gains tax will cost middle class inheritors $10,000 to $20,000 more in taxes.

Senator Warren’s proposed tax increases will affect the middle class as well as the wealthy. They also fall short of covering the estimated cost of her plan. Assuming, then, that Medicare for All could be implemented with no increase in federal income or sales taxes for the middle class may well be a pipe dream.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

Medicare for All?

Taxes for All?

[By Rick Kakler CFP®]

As the recent debates among the Democratic presidential candidates emphasized, the idea of government-managed health care is gaining popularity. “Medicare for all” or some form of “free” universal health care is certainly an appealing idea. Who among us wouldn’t appreciate someone else paying our medical bills?

I certainly would. My family’s personal health care costs, including premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, run just over $3,000 a month. If my health care were free, I could find a lot of uses for the savings.

But my skeptical side, and probably yours as well, knows that there is no such thing as a free medical procedure. Someone, by some means, has to pay for insurance coverage, doctor visits, hospitalizations, and other medical costs.

The tax tab for providing “Medicare for all,” as envisioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders, is $3 trillion a year, according to several analysts. Currently, the cost for Medicare is about one-sixth that amount, or $583 billion a year.

Sanders and other presidential candidates tell us the wealthy will pay this tab. The reality is that when we look at other countries that have similar universal health care plans, it isn’t just the wealthy that are paying for it.

Raising the more than $3 trillion needed annually to fund “Medicare for all” would require doubling all personal and corporate income taxes or tripling payroll taxes. This analysis comes from Marc Goldwein, a senior vice president at the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. He was cited in a May 9, 2019, Bloomberg article by Laura Davison, “Tax hikes on wealthy alone can’t pay for Medicare for all plan.” “There is a lot of money out there, but there isn’t $30 trillion [over 10 years] sitting around from high earners,” Goldwein said. “It just doesn’t exist.”

I did a little investigating of the tax rates of European countries that have universal health care and found Goldwein’s statement to be true. For example, Denmark taxes income over $7,000, with rates starting at 40%. The US rate starts at 10%. This would indicate a doubling or tripling of income taxes or payroll taxes on the lowest earners is not a politically-skewed scare tactic, but an economic reality.

The top rate in Denmark is 56%, while the top rate in the US is 50% (37% federal and 13% state). This is just one of many examples I found in my searching that strongly indicate other countries that have universal health care haven’t found much room left to tax the wealthy. Based on their experience, the majority of the cost will need to come from lower income earners.

Sadly, this message is not being disseminated to voters by proponents of universal health care. While I am not advocating for or against universal health care here, I am advocating for full disclosure and transparency.

A topic as significant as this deserves a great deal of discussion based on clear, complete disclosure of facts and educated analysis. It requires the best available answers to questions like who will be covered, what will be covered, how much the program will cost, and who will pay for it.

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Assessment

Raising six times what we are currently spending for Medicare would be a huge task. Transferring one-eighth of the US economy from the private sector pocket to the public sector one would not be easy or painless. Making the transition to some form of tax-funded universal health care would be a major shift in direction for this country that would have a significant impact on all Americans. It is not a decision to make based on inadequate information, political rhetoric, or unreasonably optimistic assumptions.

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

[Foreword Dr. Krieger MD MBA]

 Foreword by Jason Dyken MD MBA

Book of Month

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