Posted in Access to healthcare, Crony Capitalism, Economic Issues, Healthcare financing, Influence peddling, Medical Costs, Medical Practice Models, Organizational structure, Patient Choice, Patient Safety, Patient-centered Care, Policy Issues, Quality, Uncategorized

Surgeon Sues Orlando Health Over ‘Forced’ Referrals | Medpage Today

Jay Wolfson, PhD, a health policy expert at the University of South Florida in Tampa, said this case “goes to the heart of physician clinical autonomy.”

Hospitals use various methods to ensure that physicians refer patients to its own entities, including non-compete agreements that prohibit doctors from practicing medicine in a set geographic area around their place of employment during their contract, or even after termination.

A 2018 survey of 2,000 doctors in five states found that 45% of primary care physicians were bound by this sort of non-compete agreement, though hospital-based physicians are less likely to be restricted by these clauses.

https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/exclusives/84571

Posted in Access to healthcare, Crony Capitalism, Economic Issues, Government Regulations, Healthcare financing, Independent Physicians, Medical Costs, Patient Choice, Policy Issues, Price Tansparency, Uncategorized

Institute for Justice: “North Carolina Surgeon Wins First Round in Fight to Eliminate State-enforced Medical Monopoly”

 

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by Justin Wilson

 

“The court correctly rejected the government’s argument that Dr. Singh needed to apply for a CON before bringing this case,” said IJ Attorney Renée Flaherty, who argued the motion. “No one should have to go through an unconstitutional process in order to challenge it. We look forward to showing that North Carolina’s CON law unconstitutionally favors existing businesses at the expense of Dr. Singh and other medical providers.”

In July 2018, IJ and Dr. Singh, a Winston-Salem surgeon, and his business, Forsyth Imaging Center, sued the Department of Health and Human Services, alleging that North Carolina’s CON law is unconstitutional because it bans medical providers from offering services patients need solely to protect existing providers from competition. In order to receive a CON, providers must persuade state officials that new services are “needed” through a cumbersome process that resembles full-blown litigation and allows existing businesses, like established hospitals, to oppose their applications. Even after a CON is granted, existing providers can appeal the decision. Dr. Singh should not have to go through such a burdensome process just to provide affordable services that patients need.

North Carolina Surgeon Wins First Round in Fight to Eliminate State-enforced Medical Monopoly

Posted in Access to healthcare, advance-pricing, American Presidents, Consumer-Driven Health Care, Crony Capitalism, Economic Issues, Government Regulations, Healthcare financing, Influence peddling, Medical Costs, News From Washington, out-of-pocket costs, Patient Safety, Policy Issues, Price Tansparency, Uncategorized

Hospitals pledge to fight Trump admin price transparency plan in court | Healthcare Dive

The old aphorism is true, leopards don’t change their spots!

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For these three entities that oppose the new HHS price transparency rules, and for many others to be sure, there is no incentive to hold down healthcare care costs. In fact, the incentives of the current system of healthcare financing are such that it’s in their favor for prices to always go up.

In all cases, whether it be a percentage of claim cost, percentage of premium or percent of discount margin, these same price-hiding crony pals continue to benefit financially when the price of medical care rises.

https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/hospitals-pledge-to-fight-trump-admin-price-transparency-plan-in-court/567474/

Posted in Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), CPT billing, Crony Capitalism, Economic Issues, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Health Insurance, Insurance subsidies, Medical Costs, Medicare, Policy Issues, Reforming Medicare, Tax Policy, Uncategorized

Watch “Milton Friedman – Monopoly” on YouTube

The Healthcare industry, or medical-industrial complex, wears the armor of Government-sponsored protectionism; chinked together by pieces of the tax code, The McCarren-Ferguson Act, Certificate of Need laws, Medicare billing regulations, HIPAA, HITECH, and the ACA.

You would be hard pressed to find a more entrenched, impenetrable cartel.

Posted in Crony Capitalism, DC & Related Shenanigans, Economic Issues, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Organizational structure, outcomes, outcomes measurement, Policy Issues, Poverty, Progressivism, Uncategorized, Wealth

Homelessness and the Failure of Urban Renewal | Mises Wire

In the department of economy, an act, a habit, an institution, a law, gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects. Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause—it is seen. The others unfold in succession—they are not seen: it is well for us, if they are foreseen. Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference—the one takes account of the visible effect; the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. Now this difference is enormous, for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the ultimate consequences are fatal, and the converse.  ~Frederic Bastiat

The parallels are numerous, and highly revealing, between our attempts to control prices in healthcare over the past 50 years and that of government attempts to solve “urban blight” and improve inner city living conditions.  In his book Myth Busters: Why Healthcare Reform Always Goes Awry, Greg Scandlen does a fantastic job of laying out the case for the negative unintended consequences of central planning in healthcare. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34942619-myth-busters

homeless“…Since the Progressive Era, government agencies — from the federal level on down — have been front and center in subsidizing, regulating, and planning city development in ways that have made housing in city centers more sparse and more expensive for households who aren’t part of the hipster-millionaire demographic that so many urban planners and politicians are working hard to attract.

While rising demand for housing in a fixed number of square miles will indeed increase the price of land and housing, various types of government intervention makes housing more expensive than it would otherwise be. And sometimes, through zoning ordinances and other regulations, cities largely outlaw just the sorts of housing that are most needed by low-income residents…

City planners were happy to show off the shiny new projects they had used government money to redevelop. But unseen were the households who simply could not afford units in the new buildings.

After all, the poor that lived in the slums lived there precisely because it was cheap, low-rent housing. Reformers admitted there were no “pat answers” to explain what would become of the displaced families. But few reformers seemed much troubled by it. Then, as now, it may have been what really mattered to reformers was to be able to claim they were doing something.

It turned out that the federal government’s grand plan of leveling flophouses and residential hotels in the name of “beautifying” cities, mostly just resulted in destroying the only housing the very-low-income population could afford. Deprived of their units in the slums, these people ended up living in tent cities and cardboard boxes instead.

Today, little has changed for those with the lowest incomes. The options once available to them in the pre-1950s world are gone, and were never replaced.

Thanks to the persistence of the Progressive mindset in cities, zoning, “redevelopment” and a centralized control of new construction remains the norm. “Density” is the new “congestion” and the attitude of city planners remains the same. They bemoan the lack of affordable housing while also blocking efforts to build more housing. Meanwhile, they tighten controls on modern-day boarding houses and other private-sector attempts to provide low-cost housing…

…Tax Increment Financing (TIF) legislation is geared not toward low-cost housing, but toward new commercial development. Often, that development is built where “unsightly” (but affordable) housing once existed. Its destruction is encouraged by government policy…

Yet, city centers remain the most practical place for very-low-income housing to be built and sustained. This is because the lowest-income households need to be close to the densest areas that sustain mass transit and access to employment. By destroying the urban ecosystem of very-low-income housing, though, governments have left many of these people few options other than living in cars, alleyways, and sidewalks…

…We continue to live with the wreckage of failed urban renewal, and the evidence can be seen in the tent cities and makeshift latrines we now see in public spaces.”

Source: Homelessness and the Failure of Urban Renewal | Mises Wire

Posted in Access to healthcare, Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), Community Underwriting, Crony Capitalism, DC & Related Shenanigans, Economic Issues, Employee Benefits, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Health Insurance, Healthcare financing, Individual Market, Individual ObamaCare Market, Insurance subsidies, Medical Costs, News From Washington, Patient Choice, Policy Issues, State-Run Insurance Exchanges, Uncategorized

Judge strikes down association health plan rule as ACA runaround

New York state and the special interests who want to maintain the ACA-dependent grip on the market are at it again.

Using a similarly contorted legal and regulatory logic that went into the design and subsequent SCOTUS justification for the ACA, a Federal District Court in District of Columbia (Judge John C. Bates) has ruled to block the Labor Department’s final rule on the implementation of Association Health Plans as an “end-run” around the ACA.

So let’s all pretend it all worked out just peachy, as the flimsy arguments made by the Plaintiffs suggest, and remove yet another financial tool which might help small businesses and individuals obtain affordable, more portable coverage!

Ostensibly and officially, the goal of the ACA was to expand affordable health insurance coverage.  Yet it has, arguably and predictably, expanded the Health Insurance Industrial complex by propping it up with tax-payer subsidized funds and making insurance MORE expensive.

And who cautions against the new AHP final Labor Department rules?  Who else but the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

 “…we remain concerned that broadly expanding the use of AHPs may lead to higher premiums for consumers who depend on the individual or small group market for their coverage.  Ultimately, the rule could result in fewer insured Americans and may put consumers at greater risk of fraudulent actors entering this market.”

Really? Higher premiums? Compared to what?

In the ACA individual market insurance exchanges, single coverage premiums (unsubsidized) increased by 62% and family coverage premiums increased by 75% just since implementation of ObamaCare!

The financial life support of the community rating standards in the ACA Individual Market was contingent on a “Young-Healthy” participation rate of roughly 40%. It never happened as predicted, thus the skyrocketing premiums in the Individual Market.

The only concern of opponents of AHPs and other market reforms is to ensure that our healthcare dollars keep flowing through the channels they control.

Source: Judge strikes down association health plan rule as ACA runaround