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Archive for July 8th, 2008

Medicare Pay Cuts for Docs

Posted by medliorator on July 8, 2008

1. Because of a funding plan put into place a few years back, Medicare’s reimbursements to doctors were cut by 10.6% on July 1.

2. The House recently passed a bill that would block the reimbursement cuts and save money by cutting funding to privately run Medicare Advantage plans, which cost more than traditional Medicare. But the Senate narrowly failed to pass the bill.

4. Democrats and Republicans both want to block the cuts in reimbursements. But many Republicans oppose slashing funding for Medicare Advantage — and President Bush has said he would veto the version of the bill passed by the House. So the Senate must either pass a bill that is acceptable both the President and the House, or pass a bill with a large enough majority to override a presidential veto.

Senate Returns to Wrestle With Medicare Pay Cuts for Docs [WSJ Health Blog]

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How to Communicate with Cancer Patients

Posted by medliorator on July 8, 2008

She recommended starting out with some tenderness. “This is a tender time,” she said. “It can be, ‘Hey, you know you’re great. I care about you. I love you and I’m here for you.’ ”

Healy said it is important to offer plenty of encouragement either in person or in a letter. “I know you can do this. Having cancer isn’t fun. You’re going to face some difficult times, but I know you can do this. You’re strong.”

“One thing you don’t want to do is instantly assume it’s terminal. … Often there is a feeling that people are going to write them off, or they’re going to count them out.”

In her book, Healy wrote, “Banish the following from your vocabulary: terminal, incurable, hopeless and salvage.”

She said she prefers positive conversations. “I liked hearing that I seemed like myself again. It meant that I was in control, and I was able to believe it,”

Finding the right words to comfort cancer patients [CNN]

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