Writing on an HHS website, Richard Kronick and Rosa Po announce that 2012 Medicare expenditures per beneficiary grew only by 0.4% over the 2011 baseline. They credit the ACA's value-based payment (VBP) system, attacks on fraud and abuse, reduced payments to Medicare Advantage plans, cutting hospitals payments and "innovation."
The Disease Management Care Blog isn't too sure about that.
3. As for the one-time payment cuts to providers and insurers, the DMCB is confident that they'll figure out ways to get their money back. They always do.
4. The innovations are in demonstration phase. It's too early to tell.
In addition, the DMCB is surprised that Medicare's 2012 insurance claims were ready to be rolled up and quantitated in early 2013. Check out this telling quote from the website "2010 and 2011 statistics are calculated on a calendar year incurred-basis. 2012 statistics are calculated on a fiscal year cash-basis, because calendar year incurred-basis data are not yet available." (bolding from the DMCB). Last but not least, the DMCB believes the lackluster economy has probably had the biggest impact on consumers' willingness to use their Medicare benefit. While Kronick and Ro state" Medigap " insurance benefits have protected the beneficiaries from the financial pain of Medicare's out-of-pocket expenses, the expense of using a hospital or seeing a doctor is more than the sum of all those medical bills.
Is the DMCB being too skeptical? Perhaps, but this particular HHS spin is built on assumptions that are backed by associations that are biased by partisan loyalty. Taxpayers deserve better. Image from Wikipedia