Bob Gatty
Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.
Patients' rights bill: Victim of struggling economy?
Worsening economic downturn has shifted focus to helping unemployed pay for health insurance

Washington-In early September, it appeared that advocates of a new patients' bill of rights would see success, and lobbyists for business and insurance organizations who opposed the initiative were willing to settle for the best deal they could get.

Ruling would impact lithotripsy, brachytherapy payments
Washington-A sweeping new proposed federal regulation dealing with hospital outpatient compensation would change Medicare payments for specific medical procedures and tighten rules governing new technology payments, a move that could adversely affect urologists. The regulation from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS) would apply to services furnished on or after January 1, 2002.
Medicare reform intended to help patients, physicians
Washington-As Congress returns to Washington after its summer break, there is interesting news from the new Medicare chief, Thomas Scully, who is promising to make the agency he heads more responsive for physicians and beneficiaries .
Legislation would help physicians deal with HCFA
Washington-This year's intensive push for an effective Patients' Bill of Rights has consumed much of the attention of those concerned about health policy and has overshadowed several other key initiatives that could also significantly affect urologists and their medical practices.
Shift in Senate may be good news for patients' rights
Washington-The return of the U.S. Senate to Democratic control appears to improve the chances for passage of a patients' bill of rights, but it could reduce chances for real Medicare reform and consideration of some specific issues important to urologists.
Proposals in patients' rights bill could lead to lawsuits
Washington-As negotiations intensify in Washington to develop a patients' bill of rights that can be passed and signed into law, insurance industry and business opponents are attempting to convince physicians that they are in danger of being confronted with a new source of lawsuits themselves if such legislation is enacted.

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