Nobody likes "Obamacare", so what should we replace it with? - page 3

A few years ago I asked a Doctor I worked with how he would reform healthcare, his response was "don't ask a Doctor, if I want to know what's based for patients I ask a Nurse". Liberals don't... Read More

  1. Visit  jmqphd profile page
    3
    I'm married to a doc so take what I say with that in mind...

    If doctors could deduct some % of no-pays (or can't pays) from their taxes, they would be willing to see more of them. When my husband has ER duty, he will see anyone. If the person is admitted, he will follow them. If the person is indigent, or a veteran (I'm not making this up) or on medicaid, he will not be paid a thin red dime. The hospital has a relationship with the county and they are reimbursed, but the physician is not. But, in spite of all this, when these people are discharged, they want to continue following up with my husband in his office. He tells them no. He doesn't like doing this. He has no animus toward them. But we cannot afford to give away that time when his overhead is obscene. It literally costs him money to see these people after hospitalization.

    It costs him a great deal of money.

    And he cannot deduct any of it. If there was any slack, any small % of break for him on his taxes (yes, we owe the IRS 13K this year because I work and earned too much) then there would be some patients he could follow.

    I think if you do this for every PCP and specialist in the country... you BET it could make a difference. Cost shifting? Perhaps. When tax $$ go to DC, the amount that returns to the people for things like medical care has been so shriveled by the government's take, their inefficiency and graft, the returns are a pitiful shadow of what we paid.

    Just a small degree of freedom to see indigent patients and defer some of the expense... it's a direct benefit to the patient and the community.
    VivaLasViejas, tewdles, and tntrn like this.
  2. Visit  tewdles profile page
    1
    I agree that tort reform is not the answer.

    There is something about minimizing the damages that a person can receive when they have suffered malpractice that does not sit right with me. Perhaps because I feel that it is impossible to put a one size fits all price on an injury.

    How can we say that the woman with breast cancer who has the wrong breast removed is entitled to X amount of compensation because that is what some panel decided her breast was worth? In that case she ends up with NO breasts and some court appointed fixed amount to compensate her for the recklessness of the staff/surgeon responsible. How is that improving anything? Too many people are injured by the careless or incompetent actions of health care workers, and they deserve something for their suffering. I am not sure that the "something" they get should be standard rather than specific to each case...no two are the same, so why should the compensation be the same?

    OTOH, too many frivolous cases actually make it into the courtroom to suit any of us. In some part, lawyers are to blame for this. So much of our lives would be simpler, IMHO, if we removed legaleeze from our daily lives and just spoke and wrote like people rather than some dusty law book.

    There is no question that MDs pay a pretty penny for malpractice insurance. And, in typical insurance fashion, the malpractice insurance companies push all of the risk to the purchasers of the product rather than assume it themselves as part of their business model. Additionally, if MDs were more open to the idea of self-policing and speaking out about the "bad actors" who practice amongst them, they might not have to pay such high prices for the insurance that covers those incompetents and their errors.

    Just rambling thoughts from an aging nurse who has seen too many bad things happen to good people.
    Last edit by tewdles on Apr 6, '12 : Reason: content
    elkpark likes this.
  3. Visit  MunoRN profile page
    3
    Quote from jmqphd
    I'm married to a doc so take what I say with that in mind...

    If doctors could deduct some % of no-pays (or can't pays) from their taxes, they would be willing to see more of them. When my husband has ER duty, he will see anyone. If the person is admitted, he will follow them. If the person is indigent, or a veteran (I'm not making this up) or on medicaid, he will not be paid a thin red dime. The hospital has a relationship with the county and they are reimbursed, but the physician is not. But, in spite of all this, when these people are discharged, they want to continue following up with my husband in his office. He tells them no. He doesn't like doing this. He has no animus toward them. But we cannot afford to give away that time when his overhead is obscene. It literally costs him money to see these people after hospitalization.

    It costs him a great deal of money.
    Just to clarify, your husband loses a great deal of money due to the number of ER patients that don't have any way of paying their bills, and yet you oppose a reform plan that would drastically increase the number of patients who have the coverage to pay for his services?

    (As an aside, ER Physicians in Nevada are reimbursed by medicaid as well as the VA, the billing codes ER Physician medicaid reimbursements are 99234-99238).

    Quote from jmqphd
    And he cannot deduct any of it. If there was any slack, any small % of break for him on his taxes (yes, we owe the IRS 13K this year because I work and earned too much) then there would be some patients he could follow.
    Tax breaks, already given to hospitals and clinics, are a very inefficient way of fixing a larger problem. To cover the costs of indigent patients, medicare and medicaid offer varying reimbursement schedules depending on the volume of indigent patients, add in the tax breaks, inflated private insurer charges to cover losses, and you have a poorly planned stop gap system that ends up just shifting costs around and adding to the total cost in the process by using a fragmented, unconsolidated way of filling the gaps - some gaps get overfilled, others still have leaks.

    Quote from jmqphd

    I think if you do this for every PCP and specialist in the country... you BET it could make a difference. Cost shifting? Perhaps. When tax $$ go to DC, the amount that returns to the people for things like medical care has been so shriveled by the government's take, their inefficiency and graft, the returns are a pitiful shadow of what we paid.

    Just a small degree of freedom to see indigent patients and defer some of the expense... it's a direct benefit to the patient and the community.
    Actually of all the payers of healthcare, the government is by far the most efficient, in fact it's not even close. Medicare runs an overhead cost of 1.5-2%, private payers on the other hand keep 14% and more for themselves.
    everwonder_y, tewdles, and elkpark like this.


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