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H.R.6331 Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, 110th Congress

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Official Bill Info

  • Latest Action: Jul 15, 2008 Two-thirds of the Members present having voted in the affirmative the bill is passed, the Passed by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 383 - 41 (Roll no. 491).

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    I know the most recent action for this bill is as follows: "Two-thirds of the Members present having voted in the affirmative the bill is passed, the Passed by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 383 - 41 (Roll no. 491)." on Jul 15, 2008
  • Committee Assignment: House Committee on Energy and Commerce

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    This bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce committee.
  • Committee Assignment: House Committee on Ways and Means

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    This bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Ways and Means committee.
  • This bill's most-recent vote occurred on July 15, 2008, with a roll call of 70 ayes, 26 nays, and 4 not voting.

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    This bill's most-recent vote occurred on July 15, 2008, with a roll call of 70 ayes, 26 nays, and 4 not voting.

Bill Statistics on OpenCongress

  • 23% of users oppose H.R.6331

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    23% of users on OpenCongress.org, a free, non-partisan resource, oppose H.R.6331.
  • H.R.6331 has been viewed 103,384 times

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    H.R.6331 has been viewed 103,384 times on OpenCongress.org, a free, non-partisan resource.
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    Most-commented sections of the bill text

    Highest Rated User Comments

    • On July 10, 2008, by Anonymous - Passed the Senate on July 9. President has promised to veto, but there are likely enough votes to override.

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      As noted by Anonymous, a user on OpenCongress.org, on July 10, 2008, "Passed the Senate on July 9. President has promised to veto, but there are likely enough votes to override."
    • On August 13, 2008, by Anonymous - When will it take affect?

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      As noted by Anonymous, a user on OpenCongress.org, on August 13, 2008, "When will it take affect? "
    • On July 16, 2008, by Anonymous - This is a letter I sent to Senators who voted no on HR 6331: Dear Senator, As a physician, citizen of the United States, and a father, a son, and husband, I would like to personally reprimand you for violating the trust of those who elected you to office by prioritizing the agenda of your party and cronies rather than the health and well-being of your constituents in your action regarding HR 6331. Despite you and your partisan fellow’s attempts to block it, and your unending stall tactics, the collapse of the medical system in America has been postponed temporarily by the members of Congress who are loyal to those they are supposed to serve. Most people, including physicians and politicians, do not fully appreciate the impact that a cut in Medicare reimbursement will have on the delivery of medical care in America. Nearly all insurance companies base their reimbursement upon some percentage of the Medicare rate: refusing to care for Medicare patients is not only unethical and anathema to our commitment; it is a pathetic and futile gesture that will do nothing but harm the populace and tarnish the image of the medical community. Reducing the Medicare reimbursement rate will essentially reduce every physician’s gross income across the board by the same percentage as the cut. As most physician’s overhead expenses range from 50% to 80%, a 10.5% reduction in reimbursement will decrease physician net income by 55% to 73%. Physicians are currently fairly well compensated, although our incomes relative to inflation have dropped more than 25% in the past 20 years while other professional incomes have increased. Despite this, there are very few physicians who will be able to weather a precipitous 70% decrease in income. Downsizing in a failing economy is unfeasible; selling the SUV and the million-dollar house are not options in this economy, and the inevitable outcome will be mass bankruptcy for most of the physicians who work in our cities. Rural physicians, with more modest incomes and lower overhead, will fare better, but many will succumb. Physicians who began their practices before 1985, who remember earning twice as much at the start of their practice, will retire in droves. The physicians who remain will have no choice but to try to get by, strapped with upside-down urban mortgages and monumental education debt. Rural physicians will no longer be able to transfer their sickest patients to tertiary care centers in the city: there will no longer be doctors on staff there. Most physicians work more than 60 hours a week currently. Attempting to take care of two to three times as many sick people, and having to try to manage a rapidly growing number of severely ill patients beyond their level of competence will crush the remaining physicians in short order. The United States, once home of the world’s gold standard of medical care, will become a medical wasteland. It is already difficult to get medical care. My mother, who is 72 and has supplemental insurances in addition to Medicare, languished for 3 days in California hospitals before an Orthopedic Surgeon could be found to come to the hospital to reduce her dislocated hip. The Orthopedic Staff at the hospital where my mother was had dropped from 5 to 3 in the previous 12 months, and none of the remaining staff Orthopedists accepted Medicare. I seriously considered flying in from Texas, getting temporary privileges, and reducing my mother’s dislocation myself. I knew, however that this would be impossible as Medicare will not reimburse hospitals for services rendered to a family member, and treating family is against hospital policy for that reason. We asked for my mother to be transferred to a larger hospital where Orthopedic services would be available, but when she arrived there the situation was the same. This was not in a small town in the middle of nowhere: this happened in a community 40 miles from Los Angeles. I implore you: look inside your heart to see if there is any desire to serve the people of the United States rather than your party and the special interest groups to whom you are beholden. If so, PLEASE attempt to redeem yourself by immediately applying the energy you exerted trying to shoot down Representative Rangel’s attempt to do the right thing to finding a permanent, workable solution to the Medicare crisis. Physicians have answered a calling--that calling came with a promise of community respect and a comfortable life for both the physician and his family, to compensate for long hours, 10-13 years of expensive secondary education, and constant exposure to deadly diseases and spurious lawsuits. Do not think that doctors will continue to answer the call if those promises are revoked. A 20% cut looms in only 18 months. Physicians all over the country are very upset that this disaster was not diverted until the last possible minute. Imagine how you and your family would feel if you had a heart attack, and the doctor stood by, dictating medical records, until 4 minutes had passed (the point at which irreversible brain and organ damage occurs), and only then started resuscitation. Our professional lives, and the ACTUAL lives of every citizen of the United States, are at stake here, Senator. If you can’t find it in you to work for the good of America and try to make it right, you might at least just abstain next time a vote comes up, like Senators McCain and Obama did. Sincerely, Steven G. Ballinger, M.D.

      Clicking this will add the following text:

      As noted by Anonymous, a user on OpenCongress.org, on July 16, 2008, "This is a letter I sent to Senators who voted no on HR 6331: Dear Senator, As a physician, citizen of the United States, and a father, a son, and husband, I would like to personally reprimand you for violating the trust of those who elected you to office by prioritizing the agenda of your party and cronies rather than the health and well-being of your constituents in your action regarding HR 6331. Despite you and your partisan fellow’s attempts to block it, and your unending stall tactics, the collapse of the medical system in America has been postponed temporarily by the members of Congress who are loyal to those they are supposed to serve. Most people, including physicians and politicians, do not fully appreciate the impact that a cut in Medicare reimbursement will have on the delivery of medical care in America. Nearly all insurance companies base their reimbursement upon some percentage of the Medicare rate: refusing to care for Medicare patients is not only unethical and anathema to our commitment; it is a pathetic and futile gesture that will do nothing but harm the populace and tarnish the image of the medical community. Reducing the Medicare reimbursement rate will essentially reduce every physician’s gross income across the board by the same percentage as the cut. As most physician’s overhead expenses range from 50% to 80%, a 10.5% reduction in reimbursement will decrease physician net income by 55% to 73%. Physicians are currently fairly well compensated, although our incomes relative to inflation have dropped more than 25% in the past 20 years while other professional incomes have increased. Despite this, there are very few physicians who will be able to weather a precipitous 70% decrease in income. Downsizing in a failing economy is unfeasible; selling the SUV and the million-dollar house are not options in this economy, and the inevitable outcome will be mass bankruptcy for most of the physicians who work in our cities. Rural physicians, with more modest incomes and lower overhead, will fare better, but many will succumb. Physicians who began their practices before 1985, who remember earning twice as much at the start of their practice, will retire in droves. The physicians who remain will have no choice but to try to get by, strapped with upside-down urban mortgages and monumental education debt. Rural physicians will no longer be able to transfer their sickest patients to tertiary care centers in the city: there will no longer be doctors on staff there. Most physicians work more than 60 hours a week currently. Attempting to take care of two to three times as many sick people, and having to try to manage a rapidly growing number of severely ill patients beyond their level of competence will crush the remaining physicians in short order. The United States, once home of the world’s gold standard of medical care, will become a medical wasteland. It is already difficult to get medical care. My mother, who is 72 and has supplemental insurances in addition to Medicare, languished for 3 days in California hospitals before an Orthopedic Surgeon could be found to come to the hospital to reduce her dislocated hip. The Orthopedic Staff at the hospital where my mother was had dropped from 5 to 3 in the previous 12 months, and none of the remaining staff Orthopedists accepted Medicare. I seriously considered flying in from Texas, getting temporary privileges, and reducing my mother’s dislocation myself. I knew, however that this would be impossible as Medicare will not reimburse hospitals for services rendered to a family member, and treating family is against hospital policy for that reason. We asked for my mother to be transferred to a larger hospital where Orthopedic services would be available, but when she arrived there the situation was the same. This was not in a small town in the middle of nowhere: this happened in a community 40 miles from Los Angeles. I implore you: look inside your heart to see if there is any desire to serve the people of the United States rather than your party and the special interest groups to whom you are beholden. If so, PLEASE attempt to redeem yourself by immediately applying the energy you exerted trying to shoot down Representative Rangel’s attempt to do the right thing to finding a permanent, workable solution to the Medicare crisis. Physicians have answered a calling--that calling came with a promise of community respect and a comfortable life for both the physician and his family, to compensate for long hours, 10-13 years of expensive secondary education, and constant exposure to deadly diseases and spurious lawsuits. Do not think that doctors will continue to answer the call if those promises are revoked. A 20% cut looms in only 18 months. Physicians all over the country are very upset that this disaster was not diverted until the last possible minute. Imagine how you and your family would feel if you had a heart attack, and the doctor stood by, dictating medical records, until 4 minutes had passed (the point at which irreversible brain and organ damage occurs), and only then started resuscitation. Our professional lives, and the ACTUAL lives of every citizen of the United States, are at stake here, Senator. If you can’t find it in you to work for the good of America and try to make it right, you might at least just abstain next time a vote comes up, like Senators McCain and Obama did. Sincerely, Steven G. Ballinger, M.D."

    Highly Rated Blog Articles

    • Assisted.Living.Ehr.Guideline.Regulation,.Malls.In.Danville.Va - October 16, 2011 by admin - http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-h6331/show; http://www.nickhunn.com/index.php/archives/339; http://www.ihirenursing.com/t-LPN-s-Rhode-Island-resumes.html. External links. http://www.expertgps.com/data/va/malls-and-shopping-centers. ... - [ ]

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      As noted by admin on October 16, 2011, "http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-h6331/show; http://www.nickhunn.com/index.php/archives/339; http://www.ihirenursing.com/t-LPN-s-Rhode-Island-resumes.html. External links. http://www.expertgps.com/data/va/malls-and-shopping-centers. ... - [ ]" (http://tysoncscondo.windeavorenergy.com/Assisted-Living-Ehr-Guideline-Regulation/)
    • H.R.6331: Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now Act ... - OpenCongress - September 28, 2010 by opencongress.org - (Vocus) June 24, 2008 Today, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), endorsed a House bill, HR6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, which contains several provisions of ...

      Clicking this will add the following text:

      As noted by opencongress.org on September 28, 2010, "(Vocus) June 24, 2008 Today, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), endorsed a House bill, HR6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, which contains several provisions of ..." (http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h6331/show)
    • EHR PHR and Patient Portals - January 05, 2009 by EHR PHR and Patient Portals - H.R.6331 Medicare Improvements for Patients and Pr... DEA e-prescription regulations released June 27 20... Horizon BCBSNJ Sponsors Hospitals adoption of E-Me... Federal budget:your opportunity to act Here is th. ...

      Clicking this will add the following text:

      As noted by EHR PHR and Patient Portals on January 05, 2009, "H.R.6331 Medicare Improvements for Patients and Pr... DEA e-prescription regulations released June 27 20... Horizon BCBSNJ Sponsors Hospitals adoption of E-Me... Federal budget:your opportunity to act Here is th. ..." (http://ehrphrpatientportal.blogspot.com/2009/01/mssny-hit-and-rhio-technology-fairs.html)

    Highly Rated News Articles

    • Congressional Override Boosts Medicare Rates - September 15, 2008 by EMS Magazine, MD - Under HR 6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), payments will be raised by 2% for urban services and 3% for rural ones for ...

      Clicking this will add the following text:

      As noted by EMS Magazine, MD on September 15, 2008, "Under HR 6331, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), payments will be raised by 2% for urban services and 3% for rural ones for ..." (http://www.emsresponder.com/publication/article.jsp?pubId=1&id=8224)
    • Consensus-Based Entities (CBE) Regarding Healthcare Performance ... - September 11, 2008 by Trading Markets (press release), CA - ... consensus-based entity that has the capabilities to complete all duties described in Section 183 of HR 6331, The Medicare Improvements for Patients and ...

      Clicking this will add the following text:

      As noted by Trading Markets (press release), CA on September 11, 2008, "... consensus-based entity that has the capabilities to complete all duties described in Section 183 of HR 6331, The Medicare Improvements for Patients and ..." (http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1879228/)
    • CompTIA VARs cite top policy concerns going into 08 elections - September 04, 2008 by eChannelLine, Canada - ... incentives to boost implementation of health information technology or HIT (such as the "e-prescribe" incentives within the newly enacted HR 6331, ...

      Clicking this will add the following text:

      As noted by eChannelLine, Canada on September 04, 2008, "... incentives to boost implementation of health information technology or HIT (such as the "e-prescribe" incentives within the newly enacted HR 6331, ..." (http://www.echannelline.com/usa/story.cfm?item=23676)
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