Medicare’s Payment System Continues As a Cause of Thinning Down the Number of Private Practice Doctors in the US–The
Posted Nov 25 2012 7:04pm
This has been happening for quite a while with doctors either quitting and becoming an employee of the hospital or selling their practices to hospitals which if they are nearby a facility, those look to the be most desirable for the hospitals. It states in this article that the number of cardiologists since 2007 has declined to 11% from 62%.
Most that I know stopped the in office electo-cardiogram a few years ago as it’s not a difficult test, but needed from time to time and Medicare pays a cardiologist $10 and the hospital gets $25. These are small items and the bigger ones really add up. The hospitals get paid a lot more, sometimes 3 or 4 times the amount for the same procedure and the cuts began a few years ago with both cardiologists and oncologists, and if they still maintain an office no longer do many of them stock the chemo drugs either as they can’t afford it.
Medicare reimbursements to hospitals are increasing as doctors get better with billing methodologies. This is increasing some of the costs of care and on top of that it’s still not enough as hospitals are using the same justification for cutting back as many are having financial issues as well. The funds are getting harder to come by in more ways than one and taxes need to be increased soon as technology helps but it also costs and is not the long lost answer that many thought would help keep the costs of healthcare down. As technology grows, so does the cost.
In the last few weeks the hospital layoffs are once again filling up the news. In any case it’s those government created business algorithms creating most of the shift and it’s not getting anywhere fast. BD
Thomas Lewandowski , a Wisconsin heart doctor, was faced with a dilemma after his Medicare payments were cut and his overhead costs soared: fire half his staff to keep his practice open or sell it to a local hospital.
He decided to sell, becoming one of more than 6,000 employees at Thedacare, which runs five hospitals and numerous clinics in northeast Wisconsin. It's a decision being made increasingly in the United States, creating a new dynamic that threatens to raise the price of health care even as the federal government and states strain to keep a lid on costs