KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Treating People In Docs’ Offices Instead Of ERs May Not Save As Much As Thought

Helping people avoid the ER and caring for them in doctors' offices instead may not help save as much money to the health care system as initially thought, a new study suggests.

Reuters: Most Pricey Medicare Patient Care May Be Unpreventable
Treating the costliest Medicare patients in doctors' offices instead of emergency rooms or hospitals whenever possible may not save as much money as originally hoped, according to a new study. After analyzing recent data on more than one million Medicare patients, researchers found that only about a tenth of the money spent on the program's most expensive patients was for care that could be provided without a trip to the hospital (Seaman, 6/26).

In other Medicare news  -

Kaiser Health News: Medicare Enhances Doctor-Rating Website
The federal health care law requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to publish performance data on doctors, including how patients rate them, how well the physicians’ medical interventions succeed and how well they follow clinical guidelines for basic care. The site has been up since 2010, but contained only basic information about doctors and group practices, such as their addresses, specialties and clinical training. The updated site expands the way people can search for doctors (Rau, 6/27).

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