Monkeypox Emergency; Value-Based Care Flaws; Overpaying Taxes? Monkeypox Emergency; Value-Based Care Flaws; Overpaying Taxes?

WHO Declares Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency
By the numbers: Monkeypox outbreaks have been reported in 74 countries around the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been more than 16,000 cases worldwide; of those, 839 cases have been reported in New York City.

Symptoms: Single ulcers, anal lesions, and mouth sores are all unique symptoms of the current monkeypox outbreak, according to a new study.

“Tip of the iceberg”: “The cases we are seeing are just the tip of the iceberg,” Albert Ko, MD, a professor of public health and epidemiology at Yale University, told the Associated Press. “The window has probably closed for us to quickly stop the outbreaks in Europe and the US, but it’s not too late to stop monkeypox from causing huge damage to poorer countries without the resources to handle it.”

Value-Based Care Misses Mark
Progress in moving toward value-based care has been slow despite large incentives from the federal government. Many physicians who support value-based care are still waiting to see it work in their specialties.

Disappointing results: The biggest attempt at implementing the model, led by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, is finishing its 5-year trial. An evaluation at the end of the third year found that 28% of participating physicians had dropped out and that Medicare had lost money.

Despite the Department of Health & Human Services announcing that half of Medicare reimbursement would be shifted to value-based payments within 3 years, a 2020 Deloitte survey found that only 36% of physicians received value-based compensation.

Varying values: Misaligned principles among payers, the government, and doctors on putting the patient first have been blamed for the slow rollout.

Doctors Pay a Lot of Taxes and Hate It
New reports show that physicians pay around $75,000 on average for their family tax bills, in line with the other top 10% of US taxpayers. When it comes to local taxes, however, physicians pay more than average, according to the Tax Foundation.

High tax brackets: The report also found that the average physician’s family pays a 35% marginal tax rate. The top marginal rate in the US is 37%.

Outliers in opinions: Seventy-five percent of physicians think they pay too much in taxes. By comparison, 50% of the general population think they pay too much.

Tax breaks: Several tax breaks are available to physicians, including pre-tax 401(k) accounts, contributions to charity, home mortgage interest, and writing off business expenses.

Kaitlin Edwards is a staff medical editor based in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @kaitmedwards. For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.