Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Warning on private medical care options

Posted By on Sun, Jun 8, 2014 at 7:53 AM

A reader calls attention to a good post on Daily Kos  about Medicare Advantage, the private option version of the demonstrably more efficient government-run Medicare program. It repeats what news articles have already noted:

 There are some very good reasons Medicare Advantage was the target for cuts in Obamacare—it has always spent a great deal more per patient than traditional Medicare, even though it has a generally healthier patient base. But, according to a year-long investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, Medicare Advantage plans bilked the taxpayers $70 billion in 2008-13 by exaggerating how sick their patients were.

The "risk scores" that allowed higher reimbursement for sicker patients seem to have been a pathway to abuse. Imagine that providers would game the system to increase profits. 

Hold on, the Arkansas-relevant information is coming (emphasis supplied):

Risk scores of Medicare Advantage patients rose sharply in plans in at least 1,000 counties nationwide between 2007 and 2011, boosting taxpayer costs by more than $36 billion over estimated costs for caring for patients in standard Medicare.

In more than 200 of these counties, the cost of some Medicare Advantage plans was at least 25 percent higher than the cost of providing standard Medicare coverage. The wide swing in costs was most evident in five states: South Dakota, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Arkansas.

Let us hope that the private option version of Medicaid expansion — Arkansas's adaptation of Obamcare — doesn't produce similar outcomes.

Tags: , , ,


Speaking of...

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Most Shared

Most Viewed

  • Attention Little Rock shoppers

    Outlets of Little Rock, the shopping center nearing completion by the Bass Pro Shops at Otter Creek, continues to roll out additions to the list of retailers. Today's announcement says outlets of Brooks Brothers, Asics, G.H. Bass and Levi will be opening, the first for those brands in Arkansas.
  • Ben Carson takes the stage in Little Rock

    Ben Carson is talking to a crowd at the Capitol at the noon hour.
  • Yes. Let's talk about guns

    The gun lobby has so cowed the American body politic that it has become unacceptable to talk about gun control in the hours after the latest episode of mass gun carnage.But some persist.
  • Hearing set on marriage case attorney fees

    Circuit Judge Chris Piazza has set a hearing Oct. 14 on requests for attorney fees in the case that led to Piazza's ruling striking down state bans on same-sex marriage.
  • Ben Carson in Little Rock today

    Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson will be in Little Rock today. He plans a rally in front of the Capitol from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Most Recent Comments



© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation