Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

For cash-strapped state governments, the "clawback" is the most controversial and costly provisions of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) and the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. Now, as state begin new fiscal years and grapple with the latest Medicaid spending projections, some state leaders are balking at paying the federal...
Under the Medicare Modernization Act, employers will receive about $124 billion in tax-free subsidies to encourage them to continue prescription drug coverage for retirees. Because of a long history of taxpayer-funded health benefits "crowding out" employer-sponsored coverage, Congress wanted to reduce the incentive for employers to drop retirees into...
As promised, here's my list of likely losers under the new Medicare prescription drug benefit: ● Dual Eligibles: These 6.5 million highly vulnerable beneficiaries will lose their Medicaid drug benefit and be enrolled in the less generous, slightly more expensive, far more complex Medicare drug benefit. They also face the...
When enacted in 1996, the federal Medical Health Parity Act (MHPA) was expected to increase health insurance premiums by 3.2% to 8.7%. For employers with 50 or more employees, the Act required parity between annual and lifetime dollar limits for mental health and physical health services. Specifically, the MHPA: 1. Requires...
Health care reform is a hot topic again. President Bush is rolling out a series of initiatives to improve health insurance coverage. Congress is poised to approve a 1,000-page budget reconciliation bill with dozens of key changes to Medicaid and Medicare. CMS continues to work hard to implement the...
There's a hot debate over the pros and cons of health savings accounts (HSAs). Like most other health policy issues these days, the debate is based more on differences in political and economic ideology than on facts. While on its face it may appear as a debate between Republicans...
It is an immutable truth of economics. Transparency is an essential ingredient for a market to function with any semblance of efficiency or effectiveness. Lack of transparency - what economists call asynchronous information - leads to rapid inflation, gross inefficiency, gaming and abuse, ignorant consumers, poor quality, rampant error...
To learn about the Massachusetts health care reform initiative, here are two podcasts on this groundbreaking new program to cover virtually all the uninsured in the Commonwealth. For Sellers, Feinberg and Associates, the lead consultants on the Massachusetts reform project, I host a biweekly podcast on hot issues in Medicaid....
The world's leading guru of competitive strategy, Michael Porter, Ph.D., has turned his sights on explaining the fundamental cause of high costs, poor quality, consumer dissatisfaction, uneven access, and skyrocketing premiums in American health care. In Redefining Health Care, Porter and innovation expert Elizabeth Teisberg, Ph.D. provide a thoughtful, groundbreaking...
Patient-centered care - one of the new buzz phrases in health care - is all about aligning the delivery of medical care with the needs and preferences of patients. Research shows that the practices and tools of patient-centered care result in: Superior clinical outcomes Higher consumer satisfaction Improved access to needed care Reduction...

Latest Articles