And then I read an article in the latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek about some surgeons in Silicon Valley . Apparently, some surgeons had made out-of-network arrangements such that they were pocketing upwards of $960K a year in dividends (in addition to their average salaries as noted above). In 2007 & 2008, a $10K investment for 1% of the surgery center would return $24K in annual distributions. This amount tripled in 2009. The following year, it only went up to $6.7K/mo or $80.4K for the year.
Of course, Aetna, UnitedHealth Group, Cigna, and Blue Cross & Blue Shield aren't too happy about this turn of events. But then, the . So your premiums (and mine) continue to escalate each year while my primary care visit reimbursements continue to decline. What's our average business response? See more patients in the same (or less) amount of time in order to keep our revenues even. Does this help explain the long waits for & short visits with your primary care physician? Envision us as the hamster running faster & faster in his wheel but getting nowhere.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating that we switch to socialized medicine. And I'm not smart enough to have the solution to this quagmire in which we find ourselves. But, if we valued our primary care physicians more, this might encourage more of our brightest to become family physicians & general internists to help care for the extra millions about to be foisted upon us by legislation. At least consider the comments engendered by an opinion published in the Wall Street Journal last week comparing numbers of applicants, numbers of graduates, debt incurred, and starting salaries of MDs compared to MBAs. What does this say about our social priorities? Especially when you can make even more money than a CEO just for hitting a baseball or putting a basketball through the net .