Medicare: Saving money at what cost?

May 14, 2018 - 3:30 am

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- One of the ways the government tries to save money when it comes to providing healthcare for the general public is to deny payments to hospitals for when care is rendered. Many patients don't know this and it is an unfortunate circumstance because it can indirectly impact your care. 

For instance, Medicare evaluates each and every admission to hospitals and for certain diagnoses they will not pay the hospital if the patient's been seen in any hospital with the same diagnosis in the past 30 days. 

There are two goals. 

The first is a very positive goal. It is to try to improve outpatient care which prevents admissions to the hospital. 

The second goal, and there is no other way to say it, is to save money. Recently, Medicare is considering changing to its readmission program timeframe from 30 days to seven days.

The concern being raised by many involved in healthcare is at what human price is it worth it to save money. 

Those arguing both sides of the question are debating it now across the country.