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Medicare Fund Will Now Run Out in 2029–Report Only As Good as Information and Technology We Have Today

Posted Aug 05 2010 1:00pm

Overall this is good news and the kind of news we all want to hear but this is projected on what technologies are in use today and nobody knows where we will be in the year 2029.  You have to remember that in Health IT technology we get a new “left curve” every day.  If you don’t see that you could be either living under a rock or be one of the many “non participants” today as relates to consumer image knowledge of health IT and that is wide spread.  Just doing this blog and trying to keep folks updated is a job, so yours truly is in the same boat at times. 

HHS National Plan to Improve Health Literacy – Not Going To Happen Until We Focus on Using Technology (The Tool for Literacy) Which Includes Role Models at HHS And Other Places in Government

Lack of role models from our leadership also makes reports as such questionable too as if they are not doing what we are doing, dealing with what we are dealing with, how do you generate reports as such, just some I ponder here.  Who do you want to teach you how to drive a car, an individual who has read a book about how to drive or someone who actually gets with it and drives a car?  We have a horrific example of projections here in Los Angeles with relying on reports and cutting budgets when the new Los Angeles County Hospital was built – too small and no money now to add on.  Reports and projections are just that and are helpful but you can’t take all of them to the bank. 

As citizens we are desperately in search of those “who drive” and in this care it happens to be general consumer Health IT knowledge, that’s the car and taxis don’t cut the mustard. <grin>.  BD 

Extra:  I consider this to be a “double rainbow” event!  I do have some humor here on this blog and if you don’t know what a “double rainbow” event is, skip down to the end of the post here and enjoy! 

But here’s where the asterisk comes in. Those improvements to the trust fund and to the financial health of the Medicare Part B program “depend in part on the long-range feasibility of the lower increases in Medicare payment rates [for some goods and services]. Moreover, in the context of today’s health care system, these adjustments would probably not be viable indefinitely into the future,” the trustees write. (In other words, unless we change how health care is delivered and reimbursed for, it’s going to be tough to keep all this on track and achieve the projected savings.)

Avoiding that fate “will probably require that payment and health care delivery systems be made more efficient than they are currently.” That’s where things such as accountable care organizations (voluntary collaborations between health systems and doctors to help manage care to keep costs down) and bundled payments for acute care come in. Those approaches will be tested and researched under the health-overhaul law.

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