Monday, July 14, 2008

Disease Management, Real Service, Don't Know About the Savings

Dan Scott is a real disease management patient and not an actor. So to help tell his story we hired someone who interviews disease management patients.

Dan: It was the weekend and I had questions about my metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea and numb feet.

James: You had coaching needs. How transtheoretical….

Dan: I called my disease management organization. They were so engaging and supportive.

James: I heard they were also quite attentive… and solicitous…

Dan: It was refreshing to talk to an actual health care provider who could give me the information I needed.

James: Health care providers, behaving like providers. Brilliant.

(Voice Over) Disease management. Real service, don’t know about the savings.


MEMO – with apologies to Medicare Meets Mephistopheles.

DATE: July 14, 2008

TO: Underling Demon 666

FROM: Underling to the Underling Demon 666

RE : Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008

As you have requested, here is the transcript of a recent conversation overheard between Nancy Pelosi (D – CA), Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Harry Reid, (D- NV), Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.

P: Good job on Medicare Advantage.

R: Thanks Nancy, but the House really deserves the credit for linking it to physician payments in the first place.

P: We learned a very important lesson here.

R: That one ‘Seniors and Medicare’ trumps five ‘Children and SCHIPS’ every time?

P: Well that too. But, no, that the ‘backlash' is alive and well and we can channel it!

R: Now don’t you start getting frisky with your San Francisco ways on me! I don't believe in crystals.

P: Silly boy, I’m talking about the backlash against managed care.

R: You’re right! The only thing physicians detest worse than Medicare is managed care!

P: It would have never occurred to me to tie the 10.6% fee schedule cut – which we were going to cancel anyway – to undermining funding for Medicare Advantage.

R: Nancy you’re a genius.

P: This time we didn’t have to do the heavy lifting. The doctors did it for us.

R: Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

P: Oh Harry, how naughty!

R: No Nancy, I’m thinking about January 2010 when a 21% cut is scheduled to kick in. Instead of blaming the SGR calculation, we can repeat linking it to the Medicare Advantage funding. To cancel the scheduled cut, we'll force the Republicans to vote against MA all over again!

P: Why bother? Obama will be President by then. He’s going to bring in his own reforms.

R: Maybe, but the White House has a way of changing people. Plus, he’s shifting a lot of his positions already. In contrast, you and I have been out to save Medicare for years. We’re not going anywhere.

P: Think the MA Plans will figure out what we’re planning?

R: Of course, but to stop us, they’d need to start now to repair relations with the physicians in their networks!

R: Ha ha ha!

P: Ha ha ha!

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