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  • WebMemo posted July 24, 2009 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. Compromising the Doctor-Patient Relationship: The Impact of the House Health Care Bill

    Revised and updated: July 27, 2009 On July 16, the American Medical Association (AMA) voiced its support for H.R. 3200, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. Letters of support from the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Family Practitioners, the American College of Physicians, and a number of specialty organizations…

  • Backgrounder posted April 24, 2009 by Gurjeet Guram, John S. O'Shea, M.D. How Washington Pushes Americans into Low-Quality Health Care

    Because Washington insists, more Americans will likely find themselves with low-quality health care. President Barack Obama favors an expansion of Med­icaid, a welfare program, as well as the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), as a key compo­nent of his health care reform agenda.[1] Aside from the President's proposal,[2] Senate Finance…

  • WebMemo posted May 20, 2008 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. Ending the Physician Payment Crisis: Another Reason for MajorMedicare Reform

    Under existing congressional formulas, Medicare payment rates for the services that physicians provide to Medicare beneficiaries will be reduced by 10 percent in July of this year. Instead of reforming this broken payment system, Congress will doubtless resort to another short-term fix, repeating the annual congressional fire drill to make sure that its own Medicare…

  • Backgrounder posted December 28, 2007 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. The Crisis in America's Emergency Rooms and What Can Be Done

    America's emergency rooms are in crisis. Emergency medicine encompasses the care of patients with traumatic injuries or serious signs and symptoms of disease. Quick evaluation and rapid treatment of these patients obviously cannot be done on an "elective" basis. These services are invariably provided under the auspices of a hospital and are available to patients…

  • Executive Summary posted December 28, 2007 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. Executive Summary: The Crisis in America's Emergency Rooms and What Can Be Done

    America's emergency rooms are in crisis. Emergency medicine encompasses the care of patients with traumatic injuries or serious signs and symptoms of disease. Quick evaluation and rapid treatment of these patients obviously cannot be done on an "elective" basis. These services are invariably provided under the auspices of a hospital and are available to patients…

  • WebMemo posted December 11, 2007 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. Medicare Reform: Cleaning Up the Physician Payment Mess

    Congress is about to undergo its annual, eleventh-hour ritual of reconsidering its own statutory requirement to cut Medicare physician payments. Under current law, deep cuts are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2008. This ritual is the result of Congress's refusal to reform the physician payment system and, more importantly, Medicare itself. For the sake of…

  • WebMemo posted November 2, 2007 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. SCHIP Will Not Improve Quality of Kids' Health Care

    Continuing its effort to override President Bush's veto, Congress wants to expand income eligibility for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) into the middle class, even though the program was designed to provide health coverage to low-income children. That approach would end existing private health insurance coverage for millions of children--more…

  • Commentary posted September 6, 2007 by John S. O'Shea, M.D., John O’Shea Heritage Foundation: State Health Program Fails Children

    It's hardly controversial to point out that all children deserve access to the best available health care, regardless of their economic circumstances. Unfortunately, if Congress has its way, our country will actually move further away from that ideal. Simply put, the House and Senate bills to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, aren't…

  • Backgrounder posted July 9, 2007 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. The Crisis in Hospital Emergency Departments: Overcoming the Burden of Federal Regulation

    There is a deepening crisis in America's hospital emergency rooms. More and more patients are show­ing up for care without the ability to pay for it. The burden on taxpayers and private insurance policy holders is increasing, and doctors and nurses are often overworked while operating in an environment of complex and confusing overregulation, increased liti­gation, and…

  • WebMemo posted March 21, 2007 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. More Medicaid Means Less Quality Health Care

    In spite of Medicaid's growing pressure on state budgets, some governors and state lawmakers want to expand its coverage. They seek to increase eligibility for the program up the income scale and enroll larger numbers of uninsured working families. Aside from the daunting fiscal issues, as a clinical matter, this would be an ideologically driven mistake because…

  • WebMemo posted January 25, 2007 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. A Predictable Mess: Medicare's Physician Payment System Offers Lessons Against Drug Price Negotiation

    When Medicare was enacted in 1965, Congress statutorily prohibited government interference in the practice of medicine. That prohibition has largely been ignored in practice, and today Medicare doctors endure a complex and cumbersome administrative pricing system for the more than 7,000 physician services that beneficiaries receive.[1] This system fails to reduce…

  • Backgrounder posted December 5, 2006 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. The Urgent Need to Reform Medicare's Physician Payment System

    The 5.1 percent reduction in Medicare payments scheduled to begin in January 2007 could lead many physicians to stop accepting new Medicare patients, to defer investments in new equipment and technol­ogy, or both. These problems are merely symptoms of a deeper pathology within Medicare and highlight the need for Congress to adopt comprehensive Medicare reform.…

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