OBR Daily Commentary

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Obama’s Medicare 'Doc Fix' Under Fire

(Kaiser Health News) Feb 14, 2011 - Critics quickly pounced on President Barack Obama’s proposal to head off scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, saying his funding method would cause serious problems.

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Thomas Marsland, MD (Posted: February 16, 2011)

quotesIt is interesting that again we have a "temporary" fix to the problem. What is really needed is a methodology that permanently replaces SGR. By not replacing SGR the hole just keeps getting larger and larger and eventually the piper must be paid. This means that future reductions in the physician fee schedule must keep getting deeper and deeper to cover the dollars paid out in prior years. Although two years seems like a long time (especially in light of the "monthly fixes" we had to endure this past year) it still leaves physicians and practices twisting in the wind unsure of future reimbursements. It becomes extremely difficult to any type of proactive planning when one doesn't know what to expect in terms of future payments. Ultimately patient access is held hostage to these political whims. Doctors will change their practice patterns to adjust to these trends and in the end it is the patients who suffer. As an example we have recently had to stop taking Medicaid patients because of fee reductions. With the new Medicaid fee schedule it would cost our practice more to provide care for these patients than we would be compensated. I fear Medicare is headed in the same direction unless a permanent fix is found. quotes

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Red Wine 'Can Help Breast Cancer Chemo Patients'

(The Telegraph UK) Feb 15, 2011 - Women who are about to undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer should drink a glass or two of red wine a day, research suggests.

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Thomas Marsland, MD (Posted: February 16, 2011)

quotesWonder if Parker rating makes any difference cab anyone???quotes

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Health Law Provision Raises Antitrust Concerns

(New York Times) Feb 8, 2011 - The new health care law encourages collaboration by doctors and hospitals for cost savings, but a split has developed here as to just how far they can go without running afoul of antitrust laws.

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Thomas Marsland, MD (Posted: February 10, 2011)

quotesThe environment is changing. Clearer guidance from Trade Commission and Federal government is certainly needed. The need for physician groups to work together and better coordinate care is truly critical to the success of any meaningful health reform. To do this provider groups need some protection from traditional antitrust provisions. Accountable care organizations and clinically integrated networks offer great opportunities to provide coordinated cost effective care. The concept is to proactively develop and provide quality and cost conscious treatment pathways that require a high degree of communication and coordination amongst providers that historically are not part of one "financially" integrated practice. In the past this may have run afoul of some antitrust issues. To develop these programs we need clear guidance on what is acceptable and what is not. quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Community Oncology
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Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
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Debu Tripathy, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncol...

Lung Cancer
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H. Jack West, MD

Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Swedish Ca...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Howard S. Hochster, MD

Associate Cancer Center Director, Yale Cancer Center P...

Community Oncology
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Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

Precision Medicine Section Editor
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Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer and Founder, N-of-One...

Financial Sector
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Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Richard Goldberg, MD

Director WVU Cancer Institute Director of Cancer Signa...

Editor-In-Chief
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Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Health Policy
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Ted Okon

Executive Director Community Oncology Alliance...

Community Oncology
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Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
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William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
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William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
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Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...