Get PJ Media on your Apple

VodkaPundit

Your ObamaCare Fail of the Day

November 29th, 2013 - 12:08 pm

SHORTAGE

So now there’s this:

Dr. Ted Mazer is one of the few ear, nose and throat specialists in this region who treat low-income people on Medicaid, so many of his patients travel long distances to see him.

But now, as California’s Medicaid program is preparing for a major expansion under President Barack Obama’s health care law, Mazer says he cannot accept additional patients under the government insurance program for a simple reason: It does not pay enough.

“It’s a bad situation that is likely to be made worse,” he said.

His view is shared by many doctors around the country. Medicaid for years has struggled with a shortage of doctors willing to accept its low reimbursement rates and red tape, forcing many patients to wait for care, particularly from specialists like Mazer.

Yet in just five weeks, millions of additional Americans will be covered by the program, many of them older people with an array of health problems.

So it turns out that if you pay people less for their services than their services are worth, you get less of them.

Who knew?

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (4)
All Comments   (4)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
My doctor told me a few years ago that he'd be financially better off if he put a basket of $20s at the receptionist window and posted a note asking Medicaid/Medicare patients to take a $20 and to go find another doctor. From all accounts, it's gotten worse not better. Amazing that the law of supply and demand is so ignored with those programs and now Obamacare.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
i suspect that before long it will become a requirement for licensure that medicare and medicaid be accepted. i believe that several states have already tried this, though i'm not positive. short term it will be a positive for the programs, long term a disaster.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the states that went along with the Medicaid expansion, it'll be a near-term disaster. Forget paying what the market will bear--Medicaid doesn't cover the costs of providing service (at least in some specialties). Reimbursements don't fully cover the equipment, lawsuit insurance, electronic record-keeping, bookkeeping staff, etc. Those expenses have to be met by over-charging patients with paid-up insurance. As the ratio of Medicare to private insurance goes up, and the privately insured start avoiding procedures they can no longer afford, providers will have to refuse Medicaid or close down for lack of paying customers. If clinics are not allowed to refuse Medicaid, many will shut down.

Hopefully it's not so bad in the states that don't expand Medicaid.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
i realize that. i am a retired general surgeon. any disagreement we have revolves around the definition of near term. this will be affected by such things as what state the practice is in (as you mentioned), cash flow, specialty mix in a given group practice, desire of clinic administration vs physician. because of the delays in reimbursement in most practices, the cash crunch won't be immediate unless the medical group is already in trouble. my idea of short term is 6-12 months. that is the time frame for not yet full practices to be adding patients to the rolls while cash from before still flows. then it will become apparent that more work is resulting in less money, higher liability, lower quality of life at home. i agree with all that you say except for "overcharging patients with paid-up insurance." rates are generally negotiated with the insurer.it doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room. at least not when i retired and i doubt things have improved.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All