Phil Galewitz covers Medicaid, Medicare, long‐term care, hospitals and various state health issues. He has covered the health beat for nearly two decades. He is a board member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. In 2004‐05, he was a Kaiser Media Fellow and wrote about community solutions to the uninsured. Before coming to KHN, he was at The Palm Beach Post and was a national health industry writer for the Associated Press and The Patriot‐ News in Harrisburg, Pa. He has a BA in health planning and administration and a master's in public administration with an emphasis in health policy. | Contact: PGalewitz@kff.org | @PhilGalewitz
At Hillcrest Medical Center, which is testing a "bundled" Medicare payment system, some seniors get paid up to $1,157 for having surgery. The pilot program aims to save money and improve care by paying doctors and hospitals a lump sum and rewards the patients with part of the savings.
The Senate Finance Committee calls for cuts in private Medicare plans to help pay for health reform. Some senators on the panel, worried about the 10.5 million seniors in the plans – and the possible political consequences – cushioned the impact on some constituents, according to a KHN analysis.
Makers of generic drugs say it's unfair to make them pay $460 million to help fund health care overhaul legislation. They warn consumer prices could rise if Congress approves the 10 years of increased Medicaid discounts included in the bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.
Even as Congress moves to expand health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, it's doing little to ensure there will be enough primary care doctors to meet the expected surge in demand for treatment. One prediction: the shortage of family doctors will reach 40,000 by 2019, as medical schools send about half the needed number of graduates into primary care medicine.
Miami seniors will still pay nothing for coverage; rates to rise in New York and Philadelphia.
For employers, the Senate Finance Committee health bill says size matters. Small businesses that don't offer coverage would get tax credits while the bigger ones could face fines.
Former TV reporter-turned-White-House-official says the health reform debate is different than 16 years ago, although she laments efforts by lobbying groups to "spread misinformation."
Sebelius cites case of Rick Colby, who supports Obama's health care goals, but offers some changes.
The roots of Medicare Advantage plans go back to the late 1970s, when health planners believed they could improve care while saving money. Now, health care reformers say the plans are too costly.
Part of the effort to cut health spending aims at Medicare Advantage programs, which often offer benefits that go beyond traditional Medicare. But Obama says they are unfair and inefficient.