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View Diary: When Can We Expect Health Care Reform (Whoever Wins)? (369 comments)

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  •  Where are you getting this? (0+ / 0-)

    To say that physicians or hospitals are getting "killed" is absurd. We pay primary care physicians (this is personal income, not practice revenue) over $150K a year on average, specialists over $300K. Our hospitals have average profit margins in the area of 3-5%, about the same as health insurers. Hospitals had record profits in 2006, and I'm sure they didn't do too badly in 2007.

    In addition, a lag in payments is a fact of life for almost all businesses. It's called "accounts receivable" and a 30-45 day lag is quite common in American industries. I've heard Wal-Mart often waits 90 days to pay its suppliers. The average lag in payment is less than 45 days for insurers. There is another way to go, it's called prospective payment or capitation, but physicians and hospitals have traditionally resisted this.

    I'm not saying there aren't a lot of inefficiencies.  There are. We need to handle payments far better, and differently than we do. We spend about twice as much on admin per capita as, say, the Canadians (this includes insurance admin and non-insurance admin). But we also spend twice as much on the care itself. The cost of care itself is far larger than the cost of admin.

    We will never get our costs in line with other nations just by getting our admin costs in line with those nations. The numbers don't add up. I challenge you to show me data indicating otherwise that doesn't come from a single-payer advocate. An impartial source will not corroborate what you say.

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