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Senators suggest Medicare System Revamp

Senators suggest Medicare System Revamp

Two senators have submitted some of their devised regulations to revamp the Medicare system. This aims in bringing about a big change in the health care industry and demolish many unethical practices, which were in operation from a long time onwards. This article enumerates the proposals and its intended effects.

On April 29, 2009 two foremost senators suggested some proposals to make some drastic changes in the Medicare system. They suggested placing fines or paying incentives to various hospitals, doctors including the nursing homes depending on the standard of heath care services they would offer to the Medicare patients.

These suggestions were indeed an initiative on behalf of the senators to revamp the health care condition of the nation at the request of President Barack Obama. In addition to this, the proposals were also made by them to offer sufficient monetary incentives to the hospitals and doctors to organize the care services, which they now deliver unevenly to the patients.

The Democratic leaders in Congress along with the White House officials have secured the path for President Obama's plans, for the nation's health care reform to get implemented safely without any obstacles produced by the opposition. In spite of all the disagreements that exist, the Democratic leaders and the Republicans are carrying on their operations together at Senate Finance Committee.

On April 29, 2009, Sen. Max Baucus, the Chairperson of the Finance Committee and the Democratic Leader of Montana along with Charles E. Grassley, the Republican Leader of Iowa, submitted a series of proposals in a forum. It was done with an aim to retard the expansion of Medicare by making the hospitals and the doctors more liable, and develop the care services being offered to the Medicare patients affected with chronic diseases.

The meeting took around 6 hours to complete and Sen. Grassley reported of no such disagreements from the other committee members regarding the proposals for changes in Medicare system.

The Senators proposals for Medicare revamp suggests a 5% additional incentive for chamber visits, including the different primary health care services offered to the Medicare patients, through the physicians and those practitioners who are on medical internships. The surgeons stationed in the countryside and remote areas will also receive the similar incentive, but the Medicare payments for many specialists will be decreased.

Some kind of disagreements and concerns for the Senators proposals were shown by the lobbyists. However, Baucus and Grassley have invited the general public opinion regarding their proposals, to as to avail a mass support. It has been reported that several other committees of the Congress are privately working to devise similar proposals.

The Senators Proposals

Some of the suggestions put forward by the two Senators in the meeting are as follows:

  • Doctors who often surpass 'national scale' for the standard of health care services will be offered increased Medicare payments. Those doctors who don't comply with the federal-based health care standards will be penalized monetarily.
  • Additional bonuses will be provided by Medicare to the hospitals offering enhanced care services in cases of cardiac arrests, strokes, pneumonia including several other health disorders. The charges of the treatment will be counterbalanced by reducing Medicare compensations to the other hospitals.
  • Additional payments will be released to the doctors in case they appoint nurses for offering further care to the Medicare patients after their chronic illness are successfully treated and then discharged from hospitals.
  • National scales of treatment procedures will be formulated by the government for the suitable usage of magnetic imaging equipment; CT scans machines including other health care screening procedures. The Medicare compensation will be reduced for those doctors, who are found to use these screening techniques beyond their normal usage level, for deriving additional income from patients.

Apart from this, Medicare will pay for all services offered to the Medicare patients, in form of a packaged payment system to the nursing homes and hospitals. The package will consist of the compensation for at-home care and nursing home services offered to Medicare patients after being discharged from a hospital.

Many are found to oppose the use of the packaged payment system to the hospitals and nursing homes. As per American Health Care Association, this system will grant complete authority of Medicare compensation in the hands of the hospitals. Soon the hospitals will be in an influential position to manipulate the procedure.

The proposals forwarded by the Senators will help in revealing the financial bonds existing between the drug companies and the doctors, which causes the latter to prescribe those company's medicines that offer them more commissions. The proposals will force the drug companies to unveil the commission systems and may be fined a sum of $150,000, if they avert from revealing the payments.

Even the nursing homes would be obligated to unveil their shareholders and financers names that own the property stakes, and have an intention to use the nursing home premises for their own purposes in future.


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