Monday, May 7, 2007

Medicare Advantage Private Fee-For-Service Programs Take a Big Hit in New York Times Article

The health insurance industry's attempts to justify the Medicare Advantage private fee-for-service (PFFS) product took a big hit in a story in the New York Times today.

The Medicare Advantage experiment was supposed to be about proving that the market could provide better cost and quality care then the traditional government-run Medicare program.

Instead, Medicare Advantage, and in particular its private-fee-for-service version, seems to have become nothing more to some in the industry than a "gold rush" opportunity to boost profits. These people are about to ruin it all for the rest of the industry.

Now, that the Democrats are looking to cut the program and put its insurance company payments on a par with the government run version of Medicare, we get this kind of expose.

Last week I pointed out that the health insurance industry has to get serious about defending Medicare Advantage with hard data that shows they are actually outperforming the traditional Medicare program. Instead, they enlisted the likes of the NAACP in an ethically challenged effort to try and prove that extra payments to private Medicare are the best way to help poor people.

After today's New York Times story, the health insurance industry trade association had better get serious about justifying its place in Medicare.

See the New York Times Story

My post last week: The Health Insurance Industry Employs Minority Groups to Protect Medicare Advantage Payments--Could They Have Sunk Any Lower?
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