Daily Rounds: Medicare Cuts Postponed; Scott Brown's Bi-Partisan Plan; High Hospital Rates in SF; Californians Complain About PPOs; Prostate Drug Promising

Senate votes to delay doctors' Medicare cuts - Health - Health care - "The Senate late Thursday voted to postpone a massive cut in Medicare pay for doctors, agreeing to pay doctors at current levels through Dec. 31. If the House goes along, Congress would stave off a 23 percent cut in doctors' pay scheduled to take effect Dec. 1. The cost of the one-month postponement, $1 billion over 10 years, will be paid for by changes in Medicare reimbursement for outpatient therapy services." (MSNBC)

Ezra Klein - Have Scott Brown and Ron Wyden figured out the way forward on health care? "Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) introduced the “Empowering States to Innovate Act.” The legislation would allow states to develop their own health-care reform proposals that would preempt the federal government’s effort. If a state can think of a plan that covers as many people, with as comprehensive insurance, at as low a cost, without adding to the deficit, the state can get the money the federal government would’ve given it for health-care reform but be freed from the individual mandate, the exchanges, the insurance requirements, the subsidy scheme and pretty much everything else in the bill." (Ezra Klein)

High Hospital Rates Show Power Shift In Some Regions : Shots - Health News Blog : NPR "The results support the argument that some high-priced hospitals are getting the upper hand with insurers. San Francisco’s average inpatient payment rate was 210 percent what Medicare pays, while Miami/South Florida was the least expensive, with rates of 147 percent of Medicare." (

Health insurance, PPO: California slams health insurers' customer service - "Most major health insurers in California do a poor job of paying claims and providing customer service for members in preferred provider organization plans, according to a new state survey." (Los Angeles Times)

p> Medical News: Medicare Panel Gives Tentative Nod to Prostate CA Drug - in Oncology/Hematology, Prostate Cancer from MedPage Today "A Medicare advisory panel agreed Wednesday that there is good evidence that sipuleucel-T (Provenge) significantly improves survival in patients with minimally symptomatic metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer."(

This program aired on November 19, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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