Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:
• The Senate approved bipartisan legislation this week to permanently replace Medicare's highly unpopular Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. The ongoing Congressional actions for this bill go back as far as February 2003. The bill will increase Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians and will also extend the Children's Health Insurance Program for two more years. Health policy experts hail the bill as a move toward pay-for-performance reimbursement rather than fee-for-service. Source
• CMS has imposed a record number of Medicare Advantage fines in the first quarter of 2015. The agency has focused on cracking down on bad practices among Medicare Plan Sponsors, and almost $2.5 million in civil money penalties have been collected so far this year. CMS has the authority to take contract action if they determine that a sponsor fails their requirements or no longer meets the applicable conditions of the program. Source
• A new study found that the growing amount of paperwork involved in patient visits may cause patients to avoid visiting a doctor or hospital altogether. Participants in the survey reported that paperwork cuts into the time the clinicians spend with patients, and the majority would rather search for treatment on non-life-threatening issues on the Internet than deal with health care paperwork. Source
On The Front Lines:
Apple took a tumble this week among pMD's physician charge capture users, losing 0.11 percent of the mobile device pie to Android. Users may be focused on the Apple Watch, which drew in nearly 1 million pre-orders for the new device since last week.
Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.