Fact: The overwhelming majority of people do not care how much their doctors get reimbursed for services provided. People do not realize that doctors are making 50 percent of the revenues they did 10 years ago.
Unlike other professions, doctors do not determine their own fees. Medicare sets the standard and the other insurance carriers follow its lead.
To give you a personal example, I recently underwent an MRI. MRI machines cost approximately $1.5 million. At best MRI facilities can perform four per hour.
Customary and usual fees were about $900-$1,000. The allowable fee for my MRI now is $344 with $100 copay. The insurance paid $244.
Why is this a problem? Radiologists are paid less than 50 percent of what was determined to be a fair fee based on the cost of the equipment, the time for interpretation and the time to write the report.
You don't have to be an accountant to realize that the numbers simply do not work. I haven't even discussed the cost of undergraduate and doctorate schooling and the tens of thousands of hours of classroom and study time.
One last point: Insurance carriers have a strong lobby. They have the support of the legislators. Therefore, they are dictating your premiums, the type and extent of your care and, of course, the reimbursement rates.
I am not asking for sympathy, only for concern. If people do not wake up and fight the cutbacks to medical care, in a short period of time you will wait months for appointments and will be extremely dissatisfied with your care.
Write to your senators and representatives. Tell them you are unhappy with healthcare and they have to stop cutting reimbursements and allowing insurance carriers to dictate fees and the type of care you should receive.
Jay H. Schwartz