February 27, 2011
Wham, Bam, Thank You, Ma’am
Julian Fisher, M.D. —
There is a documented shortage of primary care physicians in this country, with only token efforts to respond meaningfully. The rewards for being a hard-working primary care physician are far less than for being a specialist or a specialist with a device (an endoscope) or a specialist with a device that beautifies (a laser). We as physicians are effectively reimbursed for 20-minute new-patient visits and eight-minute follow-up visits. Twenty and eight, you ask, how can that be? That is how, in effect, insurance companies calculate their payments — mind you, they are not rationing care, but they are rationing care and have been for a long time, national debates aside.
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at February 27, 2011 03:46 PM
With sophisticated computers that can target a helpless family in Pakistan based on what another computer calculated, one would think that it would be as easy as pie to follow every dime that flows into and out of the medical profession and the insurance companies.
How about we bring home 1,000 troops from Afghanistan, who are supposed to cost $1,000,000 each per year and dedicate that money, $1 billion, into tracking where the money in healthcare comes from and where it goes?
PS. Worked medical offices. While the big insurance companies, medicare and medicaid are trying to plug one hole in the reimbursement hole, little Ms Suzie Q at the coding desk can find another higher paying code before the regulations can even be written to plug the hole.