As the year starts on its new course, we have the chance to reflect on 2012 and the modifications t0 healthcare over the last year.

Dramatic changes have occurred in the practice of medicine which will affect us all.  The most notable changes are:

  •  Medicare penalties:

Letters were issued to thousands of doctors, informing them that Medicare reimbursements will decline by 1% if prescriptions were not done electronically in the first six months of 2011.

This is the first of many penalties set to rain down on doctors (to maintain the cost of medical care).  Will physicians drop participation in Medicare programs?  This may occur.

  • Choosing Wisely Campaign:

A program devised by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation involving several specialties draws attention to tests contributing to the expense of healthcare.

A list of 45 tests were made to eliminate commonly ordered tests and procedures.

Are any of these being recommended to you?

  • PSAs are Out:

The US Preventive Services Task Force advises against performing prostate-specific antigen screening for healthy men. (what constitutes healthy?)

  •   *Paps & HPV Testing Revised:

Cervical cancer screening guidelines have been revised according to age-appropriate plans along with HPV screening.

  • Obamacare Constitutionality:

June 28th, the Supreme Court ruled that the ACA was constitutional, paving the way for mandatory insurance coverage or penalties under Congressional taxation powers.

  •  Goodbye to Private Practices:

A survey sent to physicians across the country revealed that for practices with less than 10 doctors in the practice, 26% may close their doors within the next year due to falling income and increased expenses.

More than half of these practices feeling the financial squeeze depend on Medicare for three quarters of their income.  This may reflect the start of patient care in large hospital and clinic settings instead with longer commutes to less personal healthcare sites.


To see more changes, sign up for the blog in the box at the top left of this page.