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  • Tom Boyd

The CPI Lies

Combating Fraud, Waste and Abuse in Health Care (excerpt)

The Center for Medicare Advocacy, May 26, 2011

 The federal government estimates that improper payments under Medicare and Medicaid totaled $70.4 billion in 2010.  Approximately $34.3 billion in payments come from traditional Medicare (10.5% improper payment rate); another $22.5 billion in payments from Medicaid (9.4% improper payment rate); and $13.6 billion (14.1% improper payment rate) from Medicare Advantage. [7]

 [7] See, High-Error Programs, available at

Medicare Does Not Require “Improvement” for Coverage

 The Center for Medicare Advocacy has launched a campaign to end this unfair standard.  We need your stories!

 If you or someone you know has been denied Medicare coverage because the person’s condition is not showing improvement, Medicare coverage is being unfairly denied.

 If Medicare coverage is denied because “your underlying condition will not improve,” “you have plateaued,” “you are not likely to improve,” “you are chronic and stable” or “you need maintenance services only,” share your story now or contact us at (860) 456-7790 or by email.  

How to Offset Inflation (excerpt)

 Washington apologists hold that “core” inflation (CPI excluding Food & Energy) is well contained and has only grown 1.3% in the last year.  Cynics observe that most of us consume food, and use energy to propel their cars.  We also note that the CPI index may understate inflation since housing, a moribund sector, carries more than 40% of the index weight.  Actually, home prices have been declining.  Without the housing component, the CPI is growing at a relatively high 4.7% yearly clip., 5/20/11

Concerns raised about increase in for-profit hospice care

Healthcare Finance NewsDay, May 27, 2011

 In less than a decade, for-profit hospices have proliferated at an astounding rate, and that may be cause for concern, say the authors of “In the Business of Dying: Questioning the Commercialization of Hospice,” a study released earlier this month in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics.

AMA asks for ACO changes in the support of small practices

Healthcare Finance NewsDay, May 27, 2011

 The American Medical Association is calling on the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice to make changes to their proposed policy regarding antitrust enforcement of accountable care organizations so that physicians in all practice sizes can develop, lead and actively participate in ACOs.

Business groups seek to overturn health-insurance tax

NFIB SmartBrief, May 31, 2011

 Business groups are targeting provisions of the health care law, wary that the changes will hurt small businesses.  The Stop the HIT Coalition wants to repeal the overhaul’s tax on health-insurance companies, saying the tax will only be passed down to small-business owners, who can’t afford it.  “This new tax will be almost entirely passed from insurers to small businesses and their employees, raising health care costs and increasing economic uncertainty for this vital sector,” said NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner.  American City Business Journals/Phoenix (5/27)

Study:  Med students don’t believe marketing clouds their judgment

SmartBrief for Health Care Marketers, May 31, 2011

 Most medical students have had some type of contact with drug companies, most do not think there is an ethical conflict in accepting gifts from drugmakers and nearly two-thirds believe their impartiality is not compromised by interactions with sales reps, according to a Harvard study of 9,850 students at 76 U.S. medical schools.  Medical schools should develop strategies to teach students about the effects of marketing and limit contact between students and drug company representatives, the study authors said.  HealthDay News (5/24)


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August 10-12, 2011


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September 20-21, 2011


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