Air Date: April 9, 2014
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: Dr. Elizabeth Vliet
Dr. Elizabeth Vliet is a medical doctor with practices in Tucson and Dallas. She is President of International Health Strategies whose mission is twofold: liberty and privacy in treatment options and preservation of the Oath of Hippocrates focus on the individual patient. She is a past board member of AAPS (Association of American Physicians and Surgeons). She spoke at numerous Healthcare Town Halls addressing the economic and medical impact of the 2010 healthcare law. She spoke on this Crosstalk as an independent physician.
Dr. Vliet discussed the top 9 ways the government is attacking senior citizens. Here are the first five:
1—In a 678 page rule proposed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in January 2014, all prescribers of drugs covered under Medicare Part B would have to be enrolled in Medicare in order to do that. With the new rule, the CMS is proposing to restrict the ability of Medicare beneficiaries to use their Medicare benefits if they see an independent physician outside the system.
2—Hospitals are increasingly classifying hospitalized Medicare patients as being ‘under observation’ rather than admitting them under ‘in-patient’ status. They’re not telling patients that this means thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs as only ‘in-patient’ status is covered under Medicare Part A hospital benefits. ‘Observation’ status comes under Part B outpatient benefits which are lower reimbursements.
3—As of the Fall of 2012, Medicare’s new rules deny payment if a hospital patient is readmitted within 30 days of discharge. That’s a serious situation for patients that might get stabilized, go home and become unstable again for some reason. If the patient is not readmitted when it’s medically needed before their 30 days of post hospital time is over, they may die. On the other hand, if they are admitted as ‘under observation’ status rather than ‘in-patient’ status, they get hit with a huge hospital bill.
4—Under Obamacare hospitals are forced to do fewer surgeries for Medicare patients in order to be paid more money. So if a doctor is employed by the hospital they may not tell you that the reason why they’re not suggesting a surgery you could benefit from is because the hospital will be paid more if they do fewer surgeries. In other words, one’s they’ve met the quota, there’s no incentive to being paid less by doing more surgeries.
5—Except for government determined co-payments that are allowed, Medicare patients are not legally allowed to pay cash out-of-pocket for needed, covered services if they see a Medicare contracted physician. Patients have to find a physician who has legally opted out of Medicare if they wish to pay cash for services rendered or if they want to keep their medical records from being sent to the federal government medical database.
There are four more points to be aware of if you are concerned about your health care management. Find out what they are when you review this critical edition of Crosstalk.