Doctors are overwhelmed by all the new regulations included in Obamacare. The problems with the current system have only been compounded. Faced by rising costs and increased paperwork, physicians with small or solo practices are challenged just to keep their doors open.
Doc says ‘physicians have reached a tipping point’
By Meagan Clark 07/20/2012
A doctor representing the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons told The Daily Caller on Thursday that “physicians have reached a tipping point” under current health care laws, as they cannot both care for their patients and comply with mandated regulations.
Dr. Louis McIntyre, from Westchester County, New York, testified with three other health care experts before part of the House Small Business Committee on Thursday to explain the increasing challenges Congress and insurance companies have put on doctors who work for small or solo practices.
Rising costs of malpractice insurance and regulatory paperwork, along with shrinking reimbursements paid to doctors on behalf of Medicare patients, have all but forced doctors to become hospital employees, McIntyre said. He believes patients will see the quality and accessibility of healthcare deteriorate as more and more doctors, struggling to eek out a profit, leave their private practices for hospitals.
“Doctors know that they cannot meet all the demands placed upon them in an environment of shrinking revenues and increasing costs, and take care of patients at the same time,” McIntyre said.
The malpractice insurance at McIntyre’s Westchester Orthopedic Associates increased from $40,000 to $110,000 per year per doctor between 1994 and 2010.
Now, McIntyre and his colleagues work for White Plains Hospital, which pays their insurance premiums. In turn, they must comply with hospital policies over their own — or their patients’ — preferences, but hospitals give doctors more financial security and free them from having to deal with troublesome regulations imposed by insurance companies and Congress.
In 1995, Westchester Orthopedic employed one person to perform administrative tasks. By the late ’90s, they employed one per doctor.