In last week's mail bag:
L&M Policy Research, LLC, and its partners, the National Imaging Associates and the Lewin Group, have been contracted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop imaging efficiency measures. In preparation for additional work on this project, L&M would like to take the opportunity to ask the public for suggestions for imaging efficiency measures that could potentially be considered for development. For this project, the development of the efficiency measures is focused on applying evidence-based medicine to improve the efficient use of imaging technologies based on clinical practice guidelines and tied to health care quality outcomes.
While the imaging provider community goes under the microscope, the Medicare FFS plans, sold (at least in part) through some unsavory marketing practices and getting at least 12% more than what it costs traditional Medicare for a beneficiary's care march forward, with some plans to regulate marketing, but no plans to limit spending (and a presidential promise to veto any such limit). The Health Affairs blog reported on this problem a couple months ago and served up one potential solution from the journal — an alternative approach to setting Medicare FFS plan rates.
Here's hoping that the federales don't shy away from some potentially enormous savings as a result of the political clout of the managed care lobby and the home district politics of rural-state Senators. (By the way, would you like to buy a bridge?)
— David Harlow