by Insurance Guru
I was reading some letters to the Editor in a recent AARP magazine. Hey, it's my Dad's. Really! The letters were discussing "Disappearing Doctors" and laid the blame at the feet of Medicare reimbursement and byzantine insurance rules. Boy, that makes me cranky. Yes, I know about rising malpractice insurance, increased office costs, lower reimbursements, rules, regulations, paper work, etc, etc, etc...
What I don't understand is why these letter writers believe their profession should be immune to the life the rest of us are facing. I'm an average Jane out here in the world trying to get by. I face rising insurance rates, stagnant paychecks, increased costs, rules, regulations and paper work. I'm still trying to get it all together for the tax man.
Being in the Insurance Industry, I get daily e-mails telling me how to "Increase My Medical Office Accounts Receivables!" or "Avoid OIG Billing Audits!" or "Best Billing Practices for Diabetic Patients!". The subjects and e-mails are endless. There is an entire industry out there that is devoted to "show me the money" for physicians. Add to that the American Medical Association which has a yearly 18 million dollar budget to lobby Capitol Hill. That's just one group, there's another for Chiropractors, Hospitals and on and on.
I guess a lot of physicians aren't just like me. I drive a 2004 Ford, live in a small house, my kids go to public schools and we shop at Wal-mart and Target with coupons. In order to further economize, I got rid of the cable movie channels, magazine subscriptions and weekday newspaper. I take care of my own yard, house repairs and dog grooming. My 401K plan now literally means 401 dollars. I haven't checked yet, but I don't think there's a lobbyist out there on my behalf.
Physicians are highly trained and a valued part of our communities, but it can't be just about the cash and status. If it is, than maybe we are better off without the physicians that have chosen to leave. I want my doctor to want to help me and is willing to work as hard as the rest of us to pay the bills by doing the best we can with what we have.