by G. Keith Smith, MD
If you are looking for proof of the fact that the wonderful folks in D.C. are more interested in lining the pockets of their pals than demonstrating good stewardship of the loot from the robbery of taxation, look no further. The folks at CMS (Medicare) have interestingly decided to pay physicians not employed by a hospital system amounts so low that doctors in record numbers are opting out of Medicare completely. Simultaneously, CMS is double paying for physician services provided by physicians employed by hospital systems. If you suspect that this is an effort to drive as many physicians out of private practice as possible, you go to the head of the class.
Many physicians are succumbing to this pressure, exacerbated, as well by the purchase expense of the mandatory electronic medical records systems and the American Medical Association’s new “ICD-10” code mess. Many doctors are not following this script, however, either completely retiring from medical practice or seceding from the system altogether, refusing payment from any third parties whatsoever.
The deliberate and intended setup is clear: fewer doctors available to see patients and many of these physicians are now salaried hospital employees whose compensation is not greatly affected by the numbers of patients they see. Any guesses about what this looks like 5 years from now? Countries with single payer systems will all tell you that rationing care will inevitably balance any health care budget.
Very paradoxically, these efforts will and are already beginning to backfire, an alternative and free market model of health care delivery emerging to satisfy those both:
1)waiting in lines and
2)the new healthcare consumers who are motivated shoppers due to their new and giant insurance policy deductibles.
For all their work to crush the market, for all their efforts to destroy the private practice of medicine, one “good news” thing remains true: the corrupt and central planners never get it right.
Smith MD, G. Keith. “Squandering Taxpayer Loot.” Blog, September 2014. Web. 28 Oct 2014.