Ten thousand people will turn 65 every day for the next 19 years, placing an even greater fiscal burden on the Medicare program.

One way CMS is trying to deal with this is by penalizing hospitals and doctors who treat patients with resistant problems. Effective this year, any patient readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of discharge for the same or a related problem will be treated by the hospital without compensation.

The entire piece is frightening.  The government goes after all the hospitals and docs for kickbacks, but they will do exactly the same thing.

hospitals, clinics, and health care providers have been given incentives to organize into teams that will get assigned groups of 5,000 or more Medicare patients. They will be expected to follow practice guidelines and protocols approved by Medicare. If they achieve certain goals established by Medicare with respect to cost, length of hospital stay, re-admissions, or other “core measures,” they will get to share a portion of Medicare’s savings.

Isn’t this unethical?

The hospital administrators will have more control over their medical staff. If doctors don’t follow the protocols and guidelines, and desired outcomes are not reached, hospitals can replace the “problem” doctors.

So, how do you trust the choice that your physician makes for you knowing all of this?