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View Diary: Medicare is still more cost-efficient than private insurance (34 comments)

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  •  curious what the doctors admin costs are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    for medicare vs private insurance.

    Private insurance takes 13% of all health spending and burns it up in admin costs (compared to the 3-4% of medicare), but I'd like to know how much is also wasted on the providers end. If it's another 10%, then we're blowing 20% just on admin expenses.

    •  Doctors who accept insurance have to have (5+ / 0-)

      a fairly large administrative staff to take care of the paperwork. But they are not paid accordingly -- more and more doctors are refusing to accept insurance because they get underpaid and overwhelmed by the paperwork.  Believe me, the problem in health care costs used to be the doctors -- now the problem is located smack in the middle of the health insurance industry.
      My husband, a psychiatrist, used to accept insurance. I'd estimate that for every hour spent on patient care he spent about 1/2 hour on insurance paperwork (which includes the numerous calls he had to make when they didn't pay him).  It's not just filling out the form for payment, it's also getting authorization for future visits, authorization for medications, and as I mentioned, constantly being on the phone, going through those awful "menus" to try to find out why he wasn't paid. And none of that time is paid for by either the patient or the insurance company.
      And all that for about 1/3 of what other psychiatrists -- who weren't accepting insurance -- were charging.
      Since his private practice was supposed to be making up for his clinic work (he spends half his time in a county clinic seeing mainly immigrant children and families) and since he went into psychiatry because he actually likes working with people, he finally stopped accepting insurance. He still charges far less than most psychiatrists because he's just not greedy, but he doesn't have to spend time fighting with insurance companies.
      (but he still accepts military coverage and has a few Medicaid patients, because he likes the people he sees through those programs! He's a very good guy.)

      If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

      by Tamar on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 07:03:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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