Every blogger, myself included has written about the upcoming shortage of physicians, well this is predicated on better healthcare, but as we are seeing from the downturn in the economy, people are not going to the doctor to take care of their health, it is still a “risk management world” out there, and if some folks get healthier along the way, it is viewed as a plus. So now physicians have one more battle on their hands besides all the administrative nightmares that go with dealing with insurers, and that is to work with patients with discounts and further encourage them to take care of their health, but how do you do that when the pot is running low? House payments and rent come first.
Then there will be the P4P (pay for performance) issues that crop up next with the insurers evaluating the patient care and why Suzy has not had her mammogram and what have they done to encourage it, but the physicians can only lead patients to the water, they can’t make them drink, so again one more downside of the “risk management world” of healthcare today. Give it a little more time and the reviews will be in with their local managed care office auditing and scrutinizing what each member is doing, if they have not given any thought as to why this is occurring. The audit process can be interesting too when the local IPA comes up with questions on deceased patients, who of course no longer need a mammogram or a PSA test and the practice has to inform them that the patient is deceased, and the physicians get drilled about patients who are no longer coming there, but have changed to another physician, and again all a waste of administrative time to have to document all of this for the practice. Do these things happen frequently, they sure do as the insurers don’t always have their records up to date and it is up to the physician to fill them in. This once more cuts in to the valuable 10-15 minute time slots for consulting with patients too. BD
As Americans are cutting back on health care costs, doctors are working to keep their offices full. According to a survey of 75 physician practices, revenues are down 3.5% this year, compared with a rise of 6% last year, Dow Jones Newswires columnist Victoria Knight reports.