Thursday, July 30, 2009

How's Healthcare Working For You?

President Obama was in Raleigh yesterday and spoke about the current US Healthcare crisis. One of his comments that struck a cord with me was,
We have a system today that works well for the insurance industry, but it doesn't always work well for you!

You think. I'm glad that someone at the top is really being vocal on the issue.

Many health insurance companies today are for-profit. Don't get me wrong, I have no issues with companies making profits. My issue is how they do it.

When managed care come into play 25+ years ago, the main idea was to make healthcare more affordable. Great idea that got away from us. This helped the patient with lower out of pocket expenses. "See the doctor for only $10 a visit!" WOW! That's great. "No more huge deductibles!" Even better news. "Lower monthly premiums!" Will the good news ever stop! The only one getting hurt here was the doctor.

  1. His fees were cut - on the promise that joining the plan would bring more patients and the network would have a limited number of providers.
  2. More red tape and paperwork...all those tests now need to be pre-approved, referrals need to be obtained and if you didn't belong to all the plans (with all the different rules & requirements) you had angry patients that demanded you "join the network."
  3. More staff to handle all the phone calls, administrative work and learn all the nuances of each plan. More money spent for non-revenue generating work.
Jump ahead to today. We are paying more money for each doctors visit. Copays have increased, deductibles are back and, as an added bonus, we now have deal with co-insurances.

Doctors' patient load has increased, the patients are sicker because they only seek care when they can't get better on their own, their costs for doing business has increased, administrative costs have increased but, their reimbursements have decreased!

What? The doctors are making less, but we are paying more....so where is all the extra money going?

The answer is in the quote.

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