WASHINGTON, March 18, 2013 ― Medicare is the single biggest social service provided to Americans and no one wants to see it go away.
Medicare plays into a health care system that continually has skyrocketing costs: hospitals, physicians, drugs, and the staggering costs associated with long-term chronic care. Is there a way out?
Obamacare is asking IRS agents to manage this system.
Since they are managing the system, let’s have those same IRS agents pour over Medicare statements and begin making radical cuts to money-wasted services.
Next, let the politicians offer incentives to improve health by lifestyle changes, help reduce the cost of healthcare administration, and get bad drugs off the markets before they cause more harm.
Let’s start with a cost reduction split right down the middle between democrats and republicans. Both parties should approve of these following measures.
The President, Congress, and the citizens of the United States agree to the following in order to cut healthcare costs and save medicare:
Stay out of the hospital:
This means more people are better managed before they got so ill. They wouldn’t need to go to the hospital. Have you been to the hospital or seen a bill lately? What if we could prevent one third of the trips to the hospital — that would not only reduce the bill but allow for more people to be healthy.
In Oregon, medical communities are being tried by Governor Dr. John Kitzhauber, with promising outcomes. Healthcare providers from medical to chiropractic are managing the health of people before they enter crisis mode.
Stay out of the hospital: This is not a typo. Really, we need to take health care out of the hospital. Health care does not happen in a hospital. The hospital is for crisis. Get in, get out; go home and get well.
Almost 1 out of 5 medicare patients who leaves the hospital is readmitted within 30 days. These readmits cost medicare $17 billion in 2010. There is a breakdown in healthcare after the patient leaves the hospital the first time. How good is their followup care after they get home? Are they on a better diet? Are their prescription medications updated?
Let’s not pay for poor-quality or over-expensive care: A $60,000 back surgery might be well handled by a chiropractor for a fraction of the fee. What about the risk of surgery, or the rehab fees, or the risk of infections, or the risk of failed back surgery, or the possible dependance on pain medications?
This hospital bill will grow appendages.
Might a patient who is cared for in a medical community prior to an unplanned hospital visit receive better holistic care thereby possibly avoiding the expensive care alternative? Might the patient be better managed by the medical community? Let’s take it so far as to allowing the patient bring in their own meds or allowing one member of the medical team to bring them in for him.
Terminal Illness and Life Support:
Sometimes people die. No matter what medicine can do they’re going to die. Everyone does, so why spend Medicare money on patients say past five months. Medicare spends more money in the last six months of life on someone than on any time in their life previous to this.
This is a money-wasting losing battle. No on wins. What we can talk about is enhanced quality of life. Hospice, counseling, and advanced directives for end-of-life care can provide dignity and engage a person in their last months of life.
Prevention means more than screening. Catching something is not preventing. Preventing means laying the proper groundwork for all the metabolic, physiologic, neurologic (and all the other systems) of the body. Emotional health through positive outlets and without drugs. Physical health through actual biomechanics. Nutritional health as otherwise observed in our multi-billion dollar fast food ‘restaurants’.
Change to the Medicare Policy:
Medicare Section 2251.3 Necessity for Treatment; ” a treatment plan that seeks to prevent disease, promote health and prolong and enhance the quality of life, or therapy that is performed to maintain or prevent deterioration of a chronic condition is not a Medicare benefit”.
No, wait! This is exactly right! Medicare is insurance and has no right to intrude on a person’s health. Insurance again, is a transfer of risk. We have allowed medicare to pay for way too much. Keep this one, medicare should not pay any more!
We as citizens, and you Mr. President, and both sides of Congress, have let this insurance thing called medicare get too carried away.
Dr Peter Lind practices metabolic and neurologic chiropractic in his wellness clinic in Salem, Oregon. USA. He is the author of 3 books on health, one novel, and hundreds of wellness articles. His clinical specialty is in physical, nutritional, and emotional stress.
For more health tips go to http://www.wellnessreport.net
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