The Big Picture

With so much healthcare news coming out of the Capitol, it’s obvious that healthcare remains a priority for the country’s leadership. The office of Health and Human Services (HHS) is preparing for enrollment in year two of the federal health insurance exchange and announced that it will launch auto-enrollment to give existing consumers a simple way to remain in the same plan next year, unless they want to shop for another plan and choose to make changes. This announcement comes amidst reports of coverage gaps for those currently enrolled in some state plans, as well as lingering, unresolved issues stemming from the original enrollment launch debacle last fall.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule was released, in which 80 codes were identified as “misvalued," and twenty percent pertained to radiology. Radiation oncology and radiation therapy centers will take the biggest reimbursement hit due to revisions in the way that infrastructure costs are calculated for these services. Many healthcare providers also are struggling with Stage 2 Meaningful Use attestation and extensions have been requested.

Lastly, after a month filled with crises at the Veterans Administration (VA), President Obama appointed former Proctor Gamble CEO, Bob McDonald to tackle the problems with the system, a healthcare organization that has seen a dramatic increase in utilization over the past ten years. Since 2001, the VA system has taken on a new generation of patients from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom have survived wounds that would have been fatal in previous wars. 

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country's cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.”

― Abraham Lincoln