Medicare Questions Physician’s Integrity
Cancer. Conspiracy. Those are two words that have been coupled together a lot in the recent years.
Is it because of the disease being so widespread? The lack of a cure? Or the dollar signs in the di$ea$e that have people scrounging for answers?
One of the conspiracies I have come across was: The government has a cure and is keeping it under wraps because they want to lower the population and line their pockets with the 124.6 billion dollar industry. Some aren’t quite as outlandish as that one. Medicare’s conspiracy theory has connections that are a lot easier to draw…
Medicare’s Cancer Drug Experiment
Medicare has ruffled some specialist’s feathers with their new myth-busting attempt exploring cheaper treatment in comparison with more expensive treatment. The experiments test the validity of more cost effective alternatives to high priced chemotherapy drugs. Inevitably this presents the accusation that pharmaceutical companies and doctors are looking to make more money by prescribing the drug with the highest price tag.
NBC News published an article that took a deeper look into Medicare’s Experiment that seems to beg the question: Are doctor’s prescribing the most effective medications or the most expensive medications? A question that has sparked some very heated discussion in the medical world.
Two Sides to the Story
Medicare’s current policies seem to encourage doctors to prescribe costly medications due to monetary incentives. Current policy mandates that the doctor receive a percentage of the cost of the drug and treatment prescribed to the patient. The higher the price the higher the paycheck. Who doesn’t want a 6% cut from a 20,000-dollar drug instead of say… a 900-dollar drug?
If Medicare’s tests show that the less expensive course of action results in similar health results, this may lead to big changes in Medicare’s current cancer policies.
Insulted and frustrated cancer physicians urge that Medicare stop their experiments, as it may cause more harm than good. Though change in the policy could mean removing doctors and hospitals from the business of profiting from skyrocketing cancer drug prices; it could also mean removing patients from their local cancer care physicians because small practices cannot foot the bill of many cancer drugs that often don’t have a low-cost alternative.
It’s very unlikely that the Obama administration would scrap its plan with less than a year left in the Whitehouse, but if the Medicare research proves fruitful there remains a possibility that future administration may force changes.