This is a guest blog note by Joe Plandowski who has been a frequent contributor to Lab Soft News in the past. --BAF
About a week ago, Governor Patrick of Massachusetts signed Bill S 2400 into law. The goal of this bill is to reduce healthcare costs through increased transparency, efficiency and innovation. According to The Boston Globe, Gov. Patrick stated at the signing: “We are ushering in the end of the fee-for-service care system in Massachusetts.” I believe a far more accurate comment by the Governor might have been “We are shuttering the healthcare system in Massachusetts.”
When Massachusetts physicians return from their mid-August vacations to Cape Cod and discover what just happened to them, all hell will break loose. Bill S 2400, now law, takes effect on November 15, 2012. Its goal is to slash an estimated $200 billion from Massachusetts healthcare costs over the next 15 years. For that to happen, physicians (and hospitals) will have to cut their costs in half.
That goal is impossible. The margins necessary for such cuts do not exist in any physicians’ practices (or any hospitals or hospital systems). There will be no physicians (or hospitals) left in Massachusetts if that goal is to be achieved. This can only be a bureaucrats’ dream. I can’t image any physician with at least two functioning brain cells willingly buying into Bill S 2400. That is a disaster waiting to unfold. Let’s hope this is not a foretelling of the future of Obamacare. Regardless, healthcare is in for some very tough times in the near term. There is no question, healthcare costs must be controlled. But doing it the Massachusetts way is not the answer.