Apr 10 2014
For the first time in its history, the tax-payer funded healthcare program Medicare released billing information from physicians in response to requests and over the objection of the American Medical Association. The data shows how much physicians get paid for services from Medicare, but not what proportion of those payments go to pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies, staff salaries, rent, etc.
The AMA’s reluctance over the data release is their concern that the data will be misread and jeopardize careers of doctors who have high volumes of patients and specialize in expensive treatments like oncologists and cardiologists.
Meanwhile President Obama earlier in the month announced a roll-back of cuts to privately managed Medicare plans called Medicare Advantage. Based on fears that some seniors could lose coverage if the cuts went through as per the Affordable Care Act, the President and his allies in Congress reversed course in what some are calling a win for private insurance companies.
GUEST: Philip Caper, doctor in Portland, Maine and regular columnist at the Bangor Daily News