Medicare Billing as an Example of How Obama Has the Deck Stacked Against Him

I sincerely believe that Pres. Obama’s health care reform is the best thing that has happened to this country in the past century.  The fact that the United States is the only developed country that did not have a policy of universal access to health care up until now is both a moral outrage and an embarrassment. Presidents for the past 50 years have been trying to accomplish what Pres. Obama did. To think that fixing 50 years of a healthcare system that while certainly delivers incredible outcomes to a few, indisputably delivers far poorer outcomes to the majority of Americans, is going to be painless is naïve at best.

I don’t really have a lot of insight here. I know that universal access to health care is the moral just and right thing to do. If I could figure out a way to do this easily and painlessly, I would probably be working at Google and not worried about health insurance.

What I do know is I have gotten numerous requests from patients about new insurance plans, and I have had many new insurance plans reach out to me to ask if I would be a provider for their patients.

I also know that I am running a business and not an incredibly profitable business, but a business that I love. This business relies on people to whom I want to pay a living wage. It relies on keeping the lights on, the space air-conditioned/heated, clean, and stocked with the appropriate supplies. These new plans while they are very transparent to consumers about how much consumers are going to have to pay and what benefits they are going to get, they are very opaque to providers regarding how much they are going to reimburse us for the services that we provide.

I cannot think of any other industry where you provide the service and you submit a bill for the services that you rendered and you will get whatever the entity paying the bill is willing to give you.  It makes budgeting, staffing, all of the normal parts of running a business absolutely impossible. I don’t think that the “overcharging” that physicians and hospitals are accused of doing is not in large part due to the unpredictability of that they continually face from the entities who ultimately pay for their services, like Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurers.

I think one only has to look at the physician help section of the Medicare website to understand how out of control this aspect of our healthcare system is.

http://www.cms.gov/Center/Provider-Type/Physician-Center.html

 

 



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