Volume IV, Issue 18

May 1, 2017
AMA Rejects Revised AHCA 
An American Medical Association letter, penned by Executive VP and CEO, James Madara, MD, dated 4.27.17, addressed to Congressman Paul Ryan and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, urges Congress to reject the latest attempt to repeal and replace the ACA (the MacArthur Amendment to H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act - aka AHCA).

"As we have previously stated, we are deeply concerned that the AHCA would result in millions of Americans losing their current health insurance coverage. Nothing in the MacArthur amendment remedies the shortcomings of the underlying bill," states Dr. Madara.
Readmission penalties don't correlate to heart attack outcomes 
According to an April 26 post by UTSouthwestern.edu:

A program that penalizes hospitals for high early readmission rates of heart attack patients may be unfairly penalizing hospitals that serve a large proportion of African-Americans and those with more severe illness, a study by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers suggests.

The study, which appears in JAMA Cardiology, looked at one-year outcomes for heart attack patients at 377 hospitals. It found no difference in one-year mortality rates and long-term readmission rates between hospitals that were judged to have an excessive readmission ratio (ERR) and those that did not.

"The current CMS readmission metric does not correlate with long-term clinical outcomes. Furthermore, there is an inequitable distribution of the penalties such that hospitals that treat a greater proportion of socially or medically disadvantaged patients may be unfairly penalized despite comparable quality of care," said Dr. Ambarish Pandey, Cardiology Fellow and first author of the study.
Physician Version of Brexit?  
Niran S. Al-Agba, MD, in an April 25, 2017 KevinMD post, asserts:

Here's a prediction for you: If something is not done to stop MACRA implementation, more physicians will opt-out of Medicare and Medicaid than is fathomable.

According to the author:

Once DRexit begins, there will be no turning back.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is destructive to the physician-patient relationship because it prevents physicians from prioritizing patient care.
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