opinion

Realities belie financial efficiencies of Medicare bundling

Posted Feb. 1, 2010

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Regarding: "Will bundling include doctors? Medicare looking for alternative payment plans" (link):

I do not doubt that instituting financial constraint via "bundling" would force physicians and hospitals to become more efficient. But that belies the two elephants in the room.

First, the patient remains out of the equation and thus still has no disincentive to seek all of the medical care he or she desires simply by virtue of the fact that he or she has achieved a certain age. Second, the government's track record tells me they will continue to reduce payments over time regardless of the savings that are demonstrated.

Greg Polito, MD, Whittier, Calif.

The print version of this content appeared in the link issue of American Medical News.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/02/01/edlt0201.htm.

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