Saturday, March 20, 2010

To Repeat: Doctors Could Hang It Up

My cardiologist recently left a group that he started a number of years ago to go it alone. The doctors in his group were lessening the time they were spending with patients in order to make up for reductions already made in reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies. He decided to leave and accept a reduction in earnings in order to spend quality time with his patients. What further cuts in reimbursements will do to his practice, only time will tell, but these highly educated and caring doctors should not be forced out of business because the liberal democrats want power, and will divert healthcare funds to create a money guzzling socialized bureaucracy.

In our original poll taken in August of 2009, of the physicians queried, 45% said they'd consider closing their practice or retiring early if the overhaul then being considered were enacted. Also, 65% said they opposed the government's attempts at taking over the health care system. Just 33% supported it.

Given that the White House and Congress both promised then — as they do now — to provide health care coverage for 31 million new patients while at the same time cutting costs from the $2.4 trillion a year we spend on medical care, we thought it was important to reveal that doctors wouldn't go along with it.

What we found was that of the 800,000 physicians practicing in the U.S. in 2006, as many as 360,000 might leave the profession. So with the proposed overhaul, we'd be trying to cover 31 million more patients with up to 45% fewer doctors.

Impossible. It can't be done.

The current poll, conducted by the Medicus Firm, a physician search and consulting outfit, found that 29.2% of the nearly 1,200 doctors it queried said they would quit or retire early if a health overhaul were passed into law. That number jumped to 45.7% — nearly identical to our own — if a public option were included.

In the end, it's clear: A health care overhaul, as it's now being pushed, could lead to a precipitous drop in the number of doctors.

"Many physicians feel that they cannot continue to practice if patient loads increase while pay decreases," wrote Kevin Perpetua, managing partner of the Medicus Firm, summing up his findings.
Read IBD article here.

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