Skip to comments.Doctor Fees Major Factor in Health Costs, Study Says
Posted on 09/08/2011 6:00:05 AM PDT by reaganaut1
Doctors are paid higher fees in the United States than in several other countries, and this is a major factor in the nations higher overall cost of health care, says a new study by two Columbia University professors, one of whom is now a top health official in the Obama administration.
American primary care and orthopedic physicians are paid more for each service than are their counterparts in Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, said the study, by Sherry A. Glied, an assistant secretary of health and human services, and Miriam J. Laugesen, an assistant professor of health policy at Columbia.
The study, being published Thursday in the journal Health Affairs, found that the incomes of primary care doctors and orthopedic surgeons were substantially higher in the United States than in other countries. Moreover, it said, the difference results mainly from higher fees, not from higher costs of the doctors medical practice, a larger number or volume of services or higher medical school tuition.
Such higher fees are driving the higher spending on doctors services, the study concluded.
Ms. Glied, an economist, was a Columbia professor before President Obama named her assistant health secretary for planning and evaluation in June 2010. She said the paper, based on academic research, did not reflect the official views of the administration or the White House.
But the journal said the findings suggested that, as policymakers struggle to find ways to restrain health spending, they might consider doctors fees. Doctors have generally been excluded from recent cost-cutting proposals because under existing law, Medicare, the federal insurance program for older people, will reduce their fees by 29.5 percent on Jan. 1. In addition, many states have frozen or reduced fees paid to doctors treating poor people under Medicaid.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Insurance costs have been going up by double digits for years, yet doctor reimbursement rates don’t even keep up with inflation. Something doesn’t meet the smell test here.
From everything I’ve read, doctors lose money on Medicaid and Medicare, and have to wait months and months to get whatever the government decides to pay. Maybe they have to charge higher fees to everyone else to make up what they lose treating patients for the government.
Maybe because they work in nice offices as opposed to banana shacks or alleys?
This is one such instance ~ OF course we pay doctors more ~ TO GET THE BEST!
Blame it on Bush?
Oh, ok then.
No bias or agenda here. Let's just move along, folks.
i’m not sure about Australia’s degree of government intervention
into the medical system
BUT I would expect this result. The more government interferes in
the free market,the lower the fees to the physician. This reduces quality
of physicians. Since physicians take 4 years college, 4 years med school,
3 years residence before they start earning their real wage, I would expect
a high salary. At least $100,000.
Milton Friedman would have a simple explanation.
Wanna bet costs drop significantly?
They will be very happy ...as all that money will be available for them to play with in their bureaucracy. Basically ObamaCare works out to be a jobs program for DC bureaucrats
Just remember, for every doctor who qualified out of medical school with an “A” or “B” average grades, there are several who just got in under the line and barely made it, but yet as lousy as they are, are still called doctors. If the “good” ones quit, we are left with the ones that do not know their right from their left hand and you will pay for it in the long run.
Yeah right. My good friend and back surgeon pays more than $250,000 per year for his medical malpractice insurance, although he has never had a claim. Think of that $1,000 every working day before you have seen your first patient. Im sure countries with socialized medicine disallow tort claims against their government doctors. The only small ray of sunshine that socialized medicine is that it would bring mass bankruptcies of personal injury lawyers.
Id sooner believe this study if it was conducted by Cudas health ministry and published by The Star Weekly.
Would YOU want to be operated on by a doctor who qualified for food stamps?
People come here from around the world to get the best care.
But the purpose of Obamacare is not health care.
The purpose is to kill off all the old white people ASAP to accelerate their replacement by illegals.
They will work hard to ultimately implement a comprehensive 'lifelong employment preparation program (LEPP) at the federal level which will include, but not be limited to:
1) Mandatory aptitude tests for all children at various stages of their state-run primary and secondary education/indoctrination.
2) .Secondary school which assigns each student a required course of study based on results of primary-level aptitude tests.
3) Free mandatory college education or vocational/technical training, with courses of study dictated for each individual, based on results of secondary-level aptitude tests.
4) State-mandated professions/fields of employment for all. No one will be allowed to seek or accept employment in any area outside their state-mandated profession/trade.
Does that sound about right?
This brings up an interesting argument....
First....let's start with: true, actual, effective tort reform is enacted.
Does it follow that: medical malpractice insurance companies will pass the cost decreases DIRECTLY to the insured in the form of radically decreased premiums (say....over 80% decrease)?
And if so, will the doc then pass along this radical cost decrease in his overhead directly to patients in the form of drastically lowered medical bills for them to pay?
I've a sibling who is in the medical community. When I posed this argument to him, his response was "fat chance".
So...tho tort reform is needed, perhaps the cost savings from it won't even reduce down to patient level??
A simple thing--pay your own office visits. You pay your own cabfare, groceries, haircuttings. You'd see the doctor's basic office visits price drop quickly because of paperwork reductions. You'd see docs happy to accept a lower fee for the convenience and the increase in their own productivity.
But hospitalization is not so easy. People take the infrastructure that is a hospital for granted, and don't understand all the maintenance, admin, nursing, tech, recovery room, beds, machinery...that's big $$$.
It's rich...these tenured parasites telling docs they're greedy for charging $100 for a $35 office visit, when the other $65 goes to support tenured parasites in one way or another, including the most pernicious of parasites...the trail lawyer.
Why not just pay the doc $35 and dispense with the rest?
These economists are making the case for price controls, a fundamental element of government control of any industry, especially health care. The market should determine the appropriate prices for health care services including doctor fees. These economists are comparing US medical care to government controlled health care having price controls. Some have argued that supply control has enabled high doctor fees in the US. I support reducing artificial restrictions on supply of physicians. Price controls will only bring shortages. Other countries have physician shortages especially at the specialist level. In addition, physicians game the system to bypass the price controls using tactics like forcing patients to come for multiple visits when a single visit would suffice.