Earlier this afternoon, both the House and Senate approved and sent the President the Conference Report for the Payroll Tax bill. The legislation included a temporary patch to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule preventing for 10 months a pending 27% cut in payment rates to physicians under Medicare. Unfortunately, much of the “pay for” came at the sacrifice of the Prevention and Public Health Fund – to the tune of $5 billion.
Earlier this week, Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger (R-CA) held a hearing on delivery system reforms that reward physicians who deliver high quality and efficient care. At a time when our health care spending accounts for an overwhelming majority of the nation’s $3.7 trillion national deficit, the hearing was a rare, welcomed moment of bipartisan agreement in an environment otherwise fraught with partisan tension.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) last week issued a report on the growing impact of chronic diseases in the United States and how the incidence of these highly manageable and largely preventable conditions are approaching “crisis proportions.” Not only are they costly – the medical care costs of people afflicted with chronic diseases represent 75 percent of the $2 trillion in U.S. annual health care spending – but for those who suffer with them they are compromising the ability to live well.
Recognizing the large savings that can result from even the most seemingly small improvements in health outcomes, we at the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) were encouraged by this week’s news developments that lend support to the kinds of reform we advocate for on a daily basis.
Working off the momentum the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease gained last year, one of our focal points for 2012 will continue to be on finding and promoting ways to achieve better health outcomes for the chronically ill.
As everyone gears up for an exciting presidential campaign year, health care reform continues to play a major role in the news and conversations this week due to the ongoing struggle candidates, lawmakers and policy analysts face in battling our national $2.7 trillion deficit and mounting debt.
In an effort to raise awareness of the leading cause of death, disability and rising health care costs in our country, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) worked throughout 2011 to broaden the discussion and advance solutions in health care particularly with respect to the cost reductions resulting from reforms that address chronic disease as the primary driver of health care costs.
It's been almost a month since the Super Committee announced their stalemate on how best to reduce our national deficit. With no end in sight and the future of public health care programs in jeopardy, Democrats and Republicans alike are taking to the presidential campaign trail to discuss their ideas on how to cut national spending. The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), in the interest of preserving and improving programs that improve health outcomes, has been closely monitoring the headlines.
As the November 23 deadline for the Super Committee fast approaches, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease continues to advocate for reforms that strengthen Medicare and Medicaid while pulling costs from the system. There is a lot at stake for the future of these programs, and, more importantly, the people they serve. In addition to deliberations by the Super Committee, there were several recent announcements affecting Medicare worth noting:
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The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a coalition of hundreds of patient, provider, community, business and labor groups, and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability and...