April 2, 2013 > Major hospital financial changes
Major hospital financial changes
Insurers are increasingly losing leverage due to hospital consolidating by buying doctor's practices. In USA 2012, 54% of all physician practices were acquired, as well as hospitals increasing the size of their facilities. Where did they get all these monies?
Advanced technology makes medical care more expensive, not less. Medical-devices used by doctors are easier and convenient and very expensive when used within the hospital due to their new billing practices. As overhead costs continue to rise, the number of hospitals seeking to employ physicians will increase. Hospital staff now practices medicine; the physician is now an employee, making decisions on what tests or treatments need to be ordered and even length of stay. That does not mean better quality of care! Private practice physicians make their own decisions and charge less.
A MUST READ: Time Magazine Article, March 4, 2013 titled - BITTER PILL: Why Medical Bills are Killing US written by Steven Brill. Also, the EDITORS DESK in Time Magazine dated 3/4/13 is a summary of facts about the above article, you may desire to read it first.
State and Federal Employment Laws prohibit hospitals in California from employing physicians. The Inspector General says California has one exception: "Clinics" only maybe operated by public hospitals. An idea for reducing costs of medicine might be to lower the age of Medicare entry, not raise it. Allowing Medicare to be competitively priced and give greater access to drugs would save billions of dollars (Opposite of Obama Care).
James W. Gearhart MD FACS
ACCMA Delegate for 20 years
Washington Hospital Original