The health bill which passed yesterday means an immediate 21% reduction in Medicare rates for doctors. This will make Medicare reimbursement levels well below the cost of providing care. Doctors who only have a small percentage of Medicare patients might be able to see them for less than cost, but most doctors will need to take on more cash paying patients. But where can a doctor find cash patients? Do they have to opt out of Medicare? These are all good questions, and need to be considered carefully.
Dropping Medicare patients will probably increase the bottom line for a doctor, and allow them to keep the doors open, and survey after survey has shown that patients are willing to pay cash for care. There are some entities who will “refer patients” to you for a share of your professional fees, or a commission. This is illegal in most states, and is considered fee splitting.
At MediBid, the Marketplace for Medicine, we allow doctors to create their online profiles highlighting their training and experience, then patients post their medical needs online. Patients review the profiles of providers, and place select their own doctor. Patients can shop for healthcare across state lines, and international boundaries. This restores competition in healthcare and reduces the cost of healthcare in the process.
It really IS that simple.