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Sliver of Medicare Doctors
Get Big Share of Payouts

New York Times, by Reed Abelson and Sarah Cohen

Original Article

Posted By:toledo, 4/9/2014 7:52:31 AM

A tiny fraction of the 880,000 doctors and other health care providers who take Medicare accounted for nearly a quarter of the roughly $77 billion paid out to them under the federal program, receiving millions of dollars each in some cases in a single year, according to the most detailed data ever released in Medicare’s nearly 50-year history. In 2012, 100 doctors received a total of $610 million, ranging from a Florida ophthalmologist who was paid $21 million by Medicare to dozens of doctors, eye and cancer specialists chief among them, who received more than $4 million each that year. While

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: earlybird, 4/9/2014 8:02:48 AM     (No. 9803672)

And this is supposed to be sinister? How about good doctors getting the larger share of patients?

FTA:

The American Medical Association, which chose not to try to block the release of the information, questioned the usefulness of these payments to assess doctors.

“We know there are going to be limitations,” said Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, the president of the association. “It’s raw claims data. This gives us no window into quality or anything of that nature.” While patients may know who performs a high number of procedures, like hip replacements, for example, they will not be able to tell anything about whether the patients needed the surgery or whether they benefited from the surgery.

What’s more, Dr. Hoven cautioned, doctors were not able to review the data, and some of the information being made public could be wrong.


What do they imagine doing? Giving each of those 880,000 doctors an equal ration of the available Medicare funds, whether they do heart transplants or tend to carbuncles on one´s foot?

More of Obama´s and Zeke Emanuel´s war on our medical care.




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Reply 2 - Posted by: Emerson, 4/9/2014 8:07:46 AM     (No. 9803681)

From the article:

Regulators and others are also likely to seize on some of this information to find those doctors who perform an unusually high volume of services, raising the question of whether every test or procedure, like the placement of a cardiac stent, was medically necessary.

So "regulators and others" will decide what medical treatment you need.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: skedaddle, 4/9/2014 8:16:23 AM     (No. 9803691)

My "0bama Math" figuring shows that Medicare could save almost 24% by getting rid of the top 2% of doctors. See how easy this is, especially when you´ve exempted yourself from participating in the evil.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Mass Minority, 4/9/2014 9:00:48 AM     (No. 9803759)

Iwould like to see a better breakdown of the data. The real number we need is the average payout per individual Dr. to determine if tere are problems here. As the article stated some of these large payouts may be due to one Dr. overseeing a large hospital Dept or large practice.

What is compelling though is the fact that some Drs or Dr groups are collecting a huge amount of money from the program while a much larger proportion of Physicians refuse these patients due to insufficient reimbursement. Because of the very low payment tiers most Drs would, out of necessity, limit the medicare participation rate in their patient population.

ASo if treating medicare patients is a losing proposition (as many doctors and medical organizations repeatedly claim) why do a very few Drs seem to be targeting this market? And at an average of $57 a visit how does one physician get to $21 million?

The math on that by the way is to get to $21,000,000 you need a practice of 37 physicians seeing patients (15 minutes each) 50 hours a week for a total of 368,421 patients, 7085 patients a week or 1417 patients a day (5 days/week). Paperwork (a huge portion of the job) would be completed outside the 50 hours a week.

Yeah, that´s happening.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: jeffkinnh, 4/9/2014 10:20:07 AM     (No. 9803897)

Is it that surprising that cancer and eye disease, serious diseases more common in older people, require specialists for treatment?

If you bring your car in for an oil change it´s OK if a non mechanic takes care of it. If your engine is skipping and stalling, you want an experienced mechanic. You pay more for the mechanic. Duh! And the older car is more likely to have problems that may require the service of a mechanic, probably with specific skill sets.

Such statistics can be useless except for political manipulation. Once again the liberals create a problem for government to solve and inevitably create problems where none existed. They fixed housing, banking and health care, right?

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Jntsrgn, 4/9/2014 11:00:29 AM     (No. 9803991)

Medicare reimburses $1200 for a joint replacement. I perform about 600 per year (which is very high volume) for a GROSS revenue from these surgeries of a bit more than 700k. Pay overhead and taxes and I am not getting rich while working insanely hard.
Please don´t let this article improperly influence your opinion if physicians and surgeons 99% of whom don´t do it for the money.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Knotwyrkin, 4/9/2014 1:57:22 PM     (No. 9804371)

If you are unhappy with what your doctor is being paid, do not use that doctor´s services. There, pretty simple isn´t it.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Caveman, 4/9/2014 1:59:58 PM     (No. 9804375)

#6 can I get an appointment to have my knees done?
My doctor is going to charge my insurance over $60,000.00.


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