Christopher Guest is one of those so-smart people (he married Jamie Lee Curtis, for instance) that he had to make parodies of real-life situations, probably just to overcome his frustration with the stupidity of everything. One wonders what he would make of the latest move by the U.S. Supreme Court. No, not the decision to allow New Yorkers to carry a concealed weapon — though that seems ripe for a Christopher Guest mockumentary. We are interested in the Court’s decision this week to decline to review a complicated health care data issue. Basically, the high Court took one look at the D.C. Circuit’s decision to allow CMS to claw back overpayments to Medicare Advantage health plans and said “sure, we don’t need to deal with that one.” And yet — while no one wants health plans to be overpaid by the federal government — it is just a real, long-time truth that the data that is relied upon to decide whether health plans were paid properly is unreliable. If a plan was overpaid, it is because the data said a patient was sicker than they were — and an entire fleet of system experts (examples here, here, here, here) have been trying for years to fix it and even more lawyers have tried to explain why this is a never-ending conundrum (examples here, here, here, here). MedPAC has some ideas about how to make the data more accurate — but this entire situation is just like the latest Jamie Lee Curtis movie, Everything Everywhere All At Once. She plays an IRS agent who audits a laundromat owner that must connect with a parallel universe version of herself to prevent a powerful being from causing the destruction of the multiverse so that she can accurately file her tax returns. We will be on the lookout for a new federal rule on data collection in the multiverse… that seems like where we are headed.
June 24, 2022 | 3 min read
June, 24 2022
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