Posts Tagged ‘222’

ObamaCare Is Killing Private Practice Physicians

January 8, 2011

First ObamaCare had death panels.  Then massive public outrage forced Democrats to abandon the death panels.  Then Obama brought back his death panels by sneaking them in via backdoor regulation in secrecy.  Then the public exploded in anger again.  And now the death panels are gone again.  At least until the next time these dishonest rodents go behind our backs to impose vile policies the people have already loudly rejected.

Then there’s the case of all the waivers.  As of now, 222 businesses have been given waivers from ObamaCare provisions because otherwise they would have to dump their employee health coverage altogether.  Including quite a few unions that pushed for ObamaCare, by the way.

Doctors are still getting shoved into nasty little death panels, however.  Because ObamaCare is murdering them:

12.21.10 | Sandy C. Pipes | MedCitizen
Private practice doctors: Another Obamacare casualty?

While making the case for his health reform package, President Obama argued that his proposal would make life easier for small-business owners.

Unfortunately, Obamacare threatens to undermine a group of small-business owners that is perhaps more important than any other to his reform effort — doctors in private practice.

The number of privately owned medical practices has declined sharply in the past five years. In 2005, at least two-thirds of practices were in private hands. That figure has dropped to less than half today — and is expected to sink below 40 percent by next year.

Many doctors, specifically those who have just completed a resident specialty, are now choosing not to enter private practice in the first place. Instead, they’re heading to salaried positions at large hospitals. Last year, 49 percent of first-year specialists chose hospital employment.

Obamacare will only exacerbate these trends. Some of the law’s dictates will make it more expensive to operate small practices — even though the rules are supposed to reduce medical costs.

Take the new law’s health IT initiative, which pushes doctors to set up extensive electronic health records in hopes of better coordinating care among providers. More information, the law’s boosters argue, means less waste and lower costs.

But many private practices can’t afford to drop five or six figures on expensive health IT systems that may not even save them money.

Boosters of health IT acknowledge that large organizations are more likely to enjoy its benefits. But shoving patients into ever-larger medical groups may not actually bring down costs.

The reason, as representatives of the American Medical Association recently warned, is that big hospital networks have greater market power. They can use that power to keep prices high, and there’s little that insurers — and even less that consumers — can do about it.

Paying more for treatment doesn’t necessarily guarantee better access or quality. Without an ownership stake in their practices, salaried doctors have an incentive to work the hours for which they’re paid — and no more. Fewer hours for doctors means fewer appointments for patients.

History demonstrates that these incentives matter. In the 1990s, several large hospitals bought up practices and put doctors on flat salaries. As Dr. Bill Jessee, CEO of the Medical Group Management Association, observed, doctors suddenly “weren’t working as hard as they were before their practice was acquired.”

Proponents of Obamacare have conveniently ignored these lessons. President Obama’s top health care aide Nancy-Ann DeParle, for instance, wrote in the August issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine that the new law is “likely to lead to the vertical organization of providers and accelerate physician employment by hospitals.” These organizations are called Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs.

Such vertical integration may prove costly. Already, hospitals lose money on a substantial chunk of the people they see. In New York, for example, hospitals take a loss on more than 70 percent of patients.

That’s mostly because of the stingy reimbursement rates paid by government health programs like Medicare and Medicaid. In 2008, the average Medicare reimbursement in New York represented a 4.7 percent underpayment. Medicaid’s reimbursements were even worse — as little as 64 percent of a hospital’s actual treatment cost. Those with private insurance are forced to pay more for care to make up the difference.

Hospitals’ Medicaid losses are compounded by the fact that the program’s beneficiaries use far more medical services than other patients. On average, the privately insured visit the doctor three and a half times a year. Medicaid patients make an average of seven visits.

Yet Obamacare will add 18 million new individuals to the program’s rolls by the end of the decade — and thus stretch our healthcare infrastructure even thinner.

Primary care physicians are already in short supply. The Center for Workforce Studies predicts that by 2020 there will be a shortage of 45,000 family doctors and 46,000 surgeons. Unfortunately, Obamacare provides no funding to significantly increase their numbers.

Emergency rooms will have to pick up the slack. The new law could result in as many as 41 million additional trips to the emergency room each year.

The health reform law was sold as a way to fill in the cracks in America’s fractured healthcare system. Instead, it has only made them wider.

This is just another example of how Marxist Democrats imposed their utter contempt for the free market system.  Doctors who don’t have their own practices have far less incentive to work hard when they receive the same salary whether they work hard or not.  And at the same time, the Medicaid patients go to the hospital twice as often as people who have insurance because it doesn’t COST them anything to do so.  Contempt like that is only possible for freeloaders who don’t have a stake in anything and don’t have to worry about their premiums going up like the people who pay into the system to keep the whole thing running.

This is why I keep saying that Democrats are either genuinely evil or totally stupid.  And either way they are moral idiots.

This is hardly the only article, and hardly the only issues that explain why ObamaCare is so vile.  I’ve got plenty of articles which detail plenty of reasons why ObamaCare is murder for the doctors whom our entire medical system depends upon:

Medical Pros Needed To Staff ObamaCare Getting Canned Because Of ObamaCare

Medical Doctor Points Out That Doctors Will Be Fined Or Jailed If They Put Patients First Under ObamaCare

ObamaCare Driving Essential Primary Care Physicans Out Of Medicine

Doctor Cassell: ‘If You Voted For Obama, Seek Urologic Care Elsewhere’

ObamaCare Factoid: Access To Health Care Doesn’t Mean Squat When Hospitals, Doctors And Pharmacists Bail

38 States Now Working To Preempt ObamaCare Disaster

Mayo Clinic Realizes ObamaCare A Total Disaster, Stops Accepting Medicare

Harvard Medical School Dean Flunks Democrat Health Bill

Why Won’t Obama Invite The Doctors Who Will Resign If His Health Agenda Passes?

Wall St. Journal Bursts The Obama Bubble: ObamaCare Is All About Rationing

And yes, that IS just for starters.

ObamaCare pledges to push something like 30 million more people into the health care system even as it forces the doctors who ARE the health care system to leave medicine.

How does that NOT sound like a total disaster in the making?


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