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Letters to the Editor

Medicare, Medicaid cuts could affect investment incentive

As a physician with 30 years of experience, I have seen the field of medicine transform. Along with the development of advanced medications, we have made great strides in care delivery.

Care coordination – a model that facilitates communication and collaboration among multiple physicians treating the same patient – is the most promising way to treat patients, especially those dealing with multiple chronic conditions. It represents a path forward towards greatly improving both quality of care and quality of life for patients.

Since becoming part of the HealthCare Partners (HCP) network, I have worked in multiple integrated care teams and witnessed the benefits firsthand. My patients receive thoughtful, reasoned and highly efficient treatment through this care model that can lead to better outcomes, reduced hospitalizations and lower costs for patients and taxpayers.

I believe all patients deserve these benefits, which hold the potential to save both lives and costs across the health care system. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is now threatening to make cuts that could affect the financial viability of integrated care models and disincentivize future investment.

The most advanced way to consistently access coordinated care is through Medicare Advantage (MA), the private alternative to Medicare. MA’s low-cost plans are increasingly popular among low-income and minority populations that may have multiple complex health issues. HCP serves MA patients every day.

Unwisely, CMS has proposed cuts to risk-adjusted payments for MA patients with chronic illnesses. HCP’s integrated care programs, as well as others throughout the country, require sufficient financial resources. Thus, the ability of physicians and providers to sustain such programs rests on the financial stability and the adequacy of payments we receive.

We want to continue providing coordinated care, but CMS may take the decision out of our hands. For the good of patients we serve, CMS must reassess its decision and, at the very least, maintain current funding until a better model can be implemented.

Tell Congress to stop MA cuts at ProtectMyMA.com.

Dr. Stephen Andracki,

HealthCare Partners

Be considerate of your hairdresser

Ladies, do you make beauty shop appointments, then do not show up or call to cancel?

That is not nice.

You are rude and cheating the hairdresser of money and time. She could have booked someone else to take your place. So you are stealing from her, money she could have made and time.

So be nice and call. It only takes a few minutes.


Arguing with liberals like air boxing

Regarding the March 18 letter in the PVT, “Government is battle of progressives versus conservatives”: Kudos to you, Bruce Kline, though I’m afraid your well-written words will fall upon deaf ears. Progressives don’t want to hear about it. Arguing with liberals like Jim Ferrell is like air boxing, the facts are irrelevant. Logic plays no role. His subject matter is all over the map. Good job sorting through it and organizing your thoughts.

The argument about Clive Bundy owing a million dollars in back taxes is laughable. How about Marc Rich who owes a quarter billion in unpaid taxes and was hiding out of the country? Bill Clinton pardoned Rich and he is now free to roam about the USA. How about Tim Geithner? Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury didn’t pay millions of dollars in taxes because he couldn’t figure out how to use Turbo Tax. Seriously? How much does Charlie Rangel owe? What about William Jefferson? He’s in jail for hiding tens of thousands of dollars in his freezer. What ever happened to that money? Can somebody please tell me where Rich’s, Geithner’s and Rangel’s money is? The taxpayers’ money? Mr. Ferrell? Anybody? The $1 million that Clive Bundy supposedly owes is pocket change to these jokers. Here’s a question: Why aren’t these stooges in prison? You and I certainly would be!

As for Clive Bundy, here’s another question. The federal government (BLM, park service, etc.) bullies its way in and takes over a state’s land and charges a fee to tread upon the land that the state and its citizens used to own? Why is this OK?

Harry Reid. The liberal progressives say we shouldn’t knock ol’ Harry. After all, look at all the pork he brings back to our state, they say. Really? I send a dollar to Washington D.C. and Harry Reid brings back a few cents and I’m supposed to feel happy about that? Worse, the pork he brings back is not spent to fix Mr. Ferrell’s potholes. I feel bad about those potholes but since when did taxes or fiscally responsible government employees (an oxymoron, in case you missed it) ever fix any problem? I’m sorry we can’t fix your potholes, Mr. Ferrell, we have to give iphones and college tuition to illegals.

Mr. Kline, I will keep up the good fight as you do. I will not give up. TRUE conservatives (not RINOs), believe in smaller government, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility and governance in accordance with our august Constitution. I often wonder how many folks have actually read it.

Linda DeLaMare

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