Doc says ‘physicians have reached a tipping point’

Meagan Clark
The Daily Caller

A doctor representing the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons told The Daily Caller on Thursday that “physicians have reached a tipping point” under current health care laws, as they cannot both care for their patients and comply with mandated regulations.

Dr. Louis McIntyre, from Westchester County, New York, testified with three other health care experts before part of the House Small Business Committee on Thursday to explain the increasing challenges Congress and insurance companies have put on doctors who work for small or solo practices.

Rising costs of malpractice insurance and regulatory paperwork, along with shrinking reimbursements paid to doctors on behalf of Medicare patients, have all but forced doctors to become hospital employees, McIntyre said. He believes patients will see the quality and accessibility of healthcare deteriorate as more and more doctors, struggling to eek out a profit, leave their private practices for hospitals.

“Doctors know that they cannot meet all the demands placed upon them in an environment of shrinking revenues and increasing costs, and take care of patients at the same time,” McIntyre said.

The malpractice insurance at McIntyre’s Westchester Orthopedic Associates increased from $40,000 to $110,000 per year per doctor between 1994 and 2010.

Now, McIntyre and his colleagues work for White Plains Hospital, which pays their insurance premiums. In turn, they must comply with hospital policies over their own — or their patients’ — preferences, but hospitals give doctors more financial security and free them from having to deal with troublesome regulations imposed by insurance companies and Congress.

In 1995, Westchester Orthopedic employed one person to perform administrative tasks. By the late ’90s, they employed one per doctor.

Mark Smith, president of physician recruiter Merritt Hawkins in Irving, Texas, said there are more regulations today than ever before. Doctors in his association report spending 60 percent of their time on completing regulatory paperwork.

“There have even been reports of small practices going out of business,” Smith said. “This has been unheard of in my 24 years in this organization.”…

…Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn asked the doctors if medical school prepares students for business, to which they agreed it does not. McIntyre believes doctors shouldn’t need an MBA to run their practices successfully, but probably need one today to comply with regulations…

…“Maybe we should have started with you at the very beginning, talked to the physicians before they started writing a 2,000-plus-page bill that many of them [politicans] didn’t read, yet passed,” Republican Rep. Scott Tipton said. “[Then-Majority Leader Pelosi] said we”ll find out what’s in it once it’s passed and, unfortunately, that discovery is still continuing.”

The complete article is at The Daily Caller.

Update:  An example of Obamacare’s impact on Medicare recipients from Patriots for America

Subject: A message from Blue Cross Blue Shield
Professor Emeritus John W. Hill, JD, PhD
Kelley School of Business , Indiana University

Look clearly at the 2014 rate compared to the 2013 rate.

For those of you who are on Medicare, read the following. It’s short, but
important and you probably haven’t heard about it in the Mainstream News:

“The per person Medicare Insurance Premium will increase from the present
Monthly Fee of $96.40, rising to
$104.20 in 2012
$120.20 in 2013

$247.00 in 2014.”

These are Provisions incorporated in the Obamacare Legislation, purposely
delayed so as not to confuse the 2012 Re-Election Campaigns.
Advise all Seniors that you know, so they will know who’s throwing them under the bus.

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