- The U.S. House of Representatives this week voted overwhelmingly to repeal President Obama’s healthcare reform law. We also received further confirmation that Obamacare is particularly hurtful for the small businesses that are the heart and soul of healthcare: physician practices. The whole country is now watching to see whether this vote was merely a symbolic gesture or the first step toward real, common-sense reform.
- As a lame duck Congress scrambles to find a temporary compromise on the Medicare physician-reimbursement formula, a weary physician workforce watches and waits, resigned to more months of uncertainty. By not appreciating what this does to physicians' morale, the public is telling doctors that from a federal policy point of view, they simply don't matter.
- We’re coming up on yet another deadline for major Medicare payment cuts, a deadline that was delayed months ago by a Congress that chose to kick the can down the road, rather than do the heavy lifting and make the hard choices that a permanent solution would require. Will Congress yet again take the easy way out and avoid its responsibility to ensure that physicians receive equitable reimbursement and patients on Medicare continue to have access to services?
- New expanded health-insurance coverage recently kicked in under ObamaCare, and one might think that that politicians facing difficult re-election campaigns would be trumpeting these benefits as part of their last-minute stumping, and that physician groups would now be finding the silver lining in what has otherwise been perceived as a failed legislation. None of this has happened. In fact, what was billed as the crowning achievement of the 111th Congress is turning into an issue its backers would rather simply ignore.
- I’ve frequently discussed the appeal of using blogs and other forms of social media as a means of adding one’s voice to the ongoing national conversation about healthcare delivery and finance, and what the future holds for physicians in this country. Now, we're looking for physicians like yourself to join our HCPLive.com network and write about the issues and ideas that matter most to you -- you pick the topics, you set the tone, we'll do the rest.
- As the regulations that will define the shape of our reformed healthcare system are fleshed out, evidence continues to emerge that our legislators may have burdened us with a raft of new rules that could do lasting damage to physicians and their patients. Far from promoting greater access and improved care, these changes may instead end up denying patients' freedom of choice, degrading physicians' clinical decision-making authority, and disrupting the trusted physician-patient relationship.
- We live in a “crisis culture” -- the financial crisis, the energy crisis, the subprime-mortgage crisis. By calling every upheaval a crisis, the word gets watered down to the point of meaninglessness. Here’s a real impending crisis: The primary care crisis. The profession of primary care physician in this country is dying. Fast. Physicians must find a leader who can articulate the serious repercussions of a growing primary care shortage. Otherwise, it will simply become the next crisis of the times.
- President Obama and Democratic leaders told us when they passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that the American public would grow to like it. That certainly hasn’t happened yet. My hope is that this law will be repealed, and not because it would be a political disaster for Democrats -- it’s a disaster for them already.
- One of the more amusing quotes to come out of the healthcare reform debate was this Nancy Pelosi classic, “[Congress has] to pass this bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” How refreshing and revealing the unvarnished truth can be.
- Hello and welcome to the all-new Physician's Money Digest, a web-only version of the august resource that has helped physicians improve their practice, their money, and their lives since 1993.
Mike Hennessy is Chairman and CEO of MJH & Associates, the publisher of many influential journals, including The American Journal of Managed Care, Pharmacy Times, MDNG, Politics, Oncology & Biotechnology News, and Physician's Money Digest. As a businessman, entrepreneur, and a publisher of magazines and websites that focus on the financial and professional needs of physicians, Hennessy is intimately familiar with the challenges physicians face in today's competitive practice environment.
Hennessy's Highlights dissects the healthcare policy issues that impact physicians, particularly those who are running their own practices.