I know a doctor who relocated to a small town after being recruited to join a new practice. He sold his house, bought a new one and uprooted his family for a move 150 miles away. It turned out that it was not a lucrative move. His schedule was quickly filled with Medicare patients, most of whom required 30-minute visits due to multiple chronic conditions. He remarked that his pediatrician colleague could see two or three privately insured patients during the time it took him to see one (lower paying) Medicare patient. His income fell far below expectations and he decided to get out.
Category: Direct Primary Care
- AAF study of the effects of Medicare’s coming drug price negotiations: fewer than 6 million beneficiaries – less than 10% of enrollees – will benefit at all and for those with any saving 69% of will save less than $300.
- Given Trump and Biden executive orders promoting the idea, why is it taking so long to allow states to import drugs from Canada?
- Health Affairs authors: giving insulin to patients for free is cost effective. So why don’t insurers – including Medicare Part D insurers – do that? I explained that months ago.
- How health care was rationed during the pandemic: Mississippi case study.
- Left-of-center Tax Policy Center: people earning less than $400,000 will pay more taxes under the new Biden budget proposal. A lot more taxes!
U.S. Health Care System Causes Patient Burnout (and Doctors Too)
Time Magazine discovered that seeing the doctor can be a real pain in the caboose. You aren’t feeling well so you call your doctor’s office. They tell you the next available appointment slot is several weeks away. You wait three weeks and finally present at the doctors’ office, where you wait in a “waiting room” while filling out a mountain of paperwork your doctor should already have. You are led to an exam room where you wait some more. You finally see your physician, whose face is buried in a computer screen. Ten minutes later you’re summarily dismissed and told to get lab work that has been ordered for you. A month later you get the bills (plural). Your appointment lasted only 10 minutes, but your budget will feel the sting for weeks to come. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
CMS to Make Prior Authorization Quicker, Easier
Prior authorization is a requirement that health insurers use to exercise more control over enrollees’ medical treatments. If a health plan requires prior authorization for a specific service and providers fail to obtain approval, the treatment is not reimbursed. Prior authorization is controversial because doctors and patients often see it as an unnecessary interference between the doctor and patient relationship. Doctors hate the hassle of seeking permission prior to treating their patients. They also dislike so-called bean counters second guessing their treatment choices.