"Have you ever wondered
why your doctor has you come back two or three times to complete a check-up
instead of wrapping it up in one visit? Doctors candidly admit that it's about
money," CNN reports.
They say insurers are to
blame. Dr. Ted Epperly, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians
"explained that if multiple services are administered to a patient on the
same day, insurers often won't reimburse doctors for each separate treatment.
Doctors don't think this is fair. While some are eating the cost of additional
services rendered to patients, others are having patients come back repeatedly
so they can be adequately reimbursed."
"Although the tension
between doctors and insurers is decades old, Epperly believes it is reaching a
crisis point" and says that "[d]octors are fed up with the
administrative hassles and other obstacles to getting reimbursed." Paul
Keckley, executive director of Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, explains
that the "tests, medications, procedures that doctors prescribe are
largely responsible for driving up health care costs."
He adds that little of the rising inflation is
consumer-driven. Insurers often provide guidelines to doctors on what
treatments may be most cost-effective based on evidence-based data. But the
struggle between "a physician's clinical judgment and insurers' focus on
evidence-based medicine" is a point of contention (Kavilanz, 9/25).
Source: Kaiser Health News