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Predictions for Healthcare Headlines in 2013


Anyone can look back at 2012, but here’s an irreverent look “back” at 2013. The future may be uncertain for physicians, but, humor is tragedy plus time, so there’s plenty to work with.

Anyone can look back, but you gotta be brave to do it from next year…and claim to not be making any of it up.

Note to lawyers: It’s a parody unless any of this stuff turns out to be true a year from now, then it’s a prediction.

DATELINE:December 27, 2013 - Well, another year is about to be unceremoniously tossed into red bag of the history of health care, so it’s time for my top five stories of 2013. And, what a year it was with all of the positioning, jostling and mad barking leading up to the primary provisions of the Affordable Care Act that take effect in just four days.

My, how things have changed:

Top Story #5: HHS Secretary Leaves PPACA Critics Speechless with Classic Retort: “Neener Neener.”  HHS Secretary Sebelius vows to work with the GSA to plan future pressers saying, “Those guys really know how to throw a party - and we know how to clear a room. It doesn’t get better than that.”

Top Story #4: Cloud Rains on EHR Parade. Data rained “everywhere” according to users, purveyors, dealers, payers, providers, CMS, HHS, and Aunt Millie in Omaha. “My begonias were up to their buds in social security numbers,” Aunt Millie said, “but I played some of ’em in Powerball and won $2,750,000. One $%! number off the big Kahuna. Then they upped my Medicare deductible. Greedy Washington politicians.”

Top Story #3: Restaurant, Hospitality Industries Adopt Airline-Type Fee Policy to Cover Health Insurance:  It used to be “you want fries with that?” Now, it’s condiments, packaging, a seat; everything right down to the pickles is a la carte. Outrage and stained shirts abound. And don’t even ask me about hotels. Want a private bathroom instead of a public stall? Pony up…

Top Story #2: United, Cigna, Aetna, Blues, and Others Go on Hospital and Provider Buying Spree: It probably was inevitable anyway, them having to pay back everything under 80 percent or 85 percent  of policy revenues that isn’t spent and all. “What a pain in the patuttie to have to deny all of those unnecessary procedures just to have to pay the money back,” said Humpy Bogart, spokesperson for the newly formed UBlue Cigtna Health Care Cradle to Grave Health Care and Life Insurance, LLC, a joint venture that now owns and operates 85 percent of the nation’s healthcare providers (“You procreate ’em, we plant ’em”). “So, we figured we would just bring everyone into the fold, so to speak, and control the process from both ends. Problem solved.”

Top Story #1: Walmart, Inc., Buys Controlling Interest in UBlue Cigtna Health Care Cradle to Grave Health Care and Life Insurance: “We have had our eye on the health care industry for some time here at Walmart small business ventures,” said Jim Tom Bubbaenski, Walmart’s small business venture manager, “and since we had to figure out how to insure close to 120 million associate-level domestic employees and we already own a little insurance company that we can grow beyond its modest $110 billion in annual revenues, adding enough capacity to help to care for our employees, and some of our customers, too, seemed to be an all around winner. Besides, who else can do a coronary bypass for $89.88?”

In related news, Walmart, Inc. announced that it was opening 14,960 “Sam’s Pubs” in its healthcare facilities. “Happy patients are happy customers,” Bubbaenski added, “and besides, we find a good Boilermaker combo to be an effective mood elevator, anesthetic, and natural stomach purge all in one. That yellow smiley face sure gets creative when it slashes prices.”

And, that’s the healthcare news for the year 2013. Stay tuned for news on most of this station. We’ll have colonoscopies at 11.


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