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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Administration news blackout on six "payment reform" experiments


The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has missed the reporting deadlines, some of them mandated by Congress, for at least nine other payment-reform experiments -- and, in many cases, won’t even say how late the agency is. Nor will CMS say when the data will be revealed.

The projects for which reports are past due include:

-- The Medicare Care Management Performance demonstration, which paid doctors extra for using health data to better treat their patients. CMS was supposed to issue its final report to Congress two years ago. Today, it won’t let us know even when the report will be released.

-- The Medicare Physician Group Practice demonstration, an earlier attempt at ACO efforts. The program ended in March 2010, and no report is in sight.

-- The Medicare Acute Care Episode demonstration, which is testing the use of bundled payments for what’s called a single episode of care -- in this case, certain types of orthopedic or cardiac surgeries. The project started in May 2009; again, CMS won’t say when we’ll see the report.

-- The Medicare Hospital Gainsharing demonstration, which examined how to get health-care providers to work together. This project ended in the summer of 2011; a full evaluation was supposed to go to Congress in March.

-- The Nursing Home Value-Based Purchasing demonstration, another ACO project, which began in July 2009. CMS won’t say when the report will be out.

-- The Medicare Coordinated Care demonstration, which started in 2002 and tested various ways to improve health outcomes for patients with complicated chronic conditions. CMS’s website says the project is no longer active, but the agency told us it’s been extended at one site. The result: Final data for the other 14 sites remain unavailable.

Reports for all these projects are under review and when that’s done, they will be released, according to the agency, though it would give no timeline.

CMS isn’t just sitting on the results. In some cases, it has barred the hospitals and health-care systems that took part in the projects from discussing what effect these experiments have had on costs. It has also instructed some health groups not to discuss future projects.

The blackouts only increase our curiosity -- and worry -- about how well those experiments are working.

Well, gee.

I can't imagine why the administration isn't releasing these results. Can you?

NOTE And speaking of saving money, if the administration had the balls and used its muscle, it could have passed single payer Medicare for All in 2009, whether through reconciliation or abolishing the filibuster, when the Democrats had the House, the Senate, the White House, and The Greatest Orator Of Our Time had just been elected with a mandate for "hope and change." Assuming a year to implement (like Medicare) we would already have saved $592 billion a year in 2011 and 2012. That's not bending the cost curve; it's crunching it. ObamaCare apologists are so full of shit.

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Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

And speaking of saving money, if the administration had the balls and used its muscle weren’t completely corrupt and in bed with Big Pharma, the for-profit hospitals, and the health insurance industry, it could have passed single payer Medicare for All in 2009…

 There, a bit better, I think.