Author Topic: Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients  (Read 939 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
« on: August 05, 2014, 05:00:00 AM »
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Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients

Posted By Sarah Hurtubise On 2:13 PM 08/04/2014 In | No Comments




Obamacare plans have shrunk payments to physicians so much that some doctors say they won’t be able to afford to accept Obamacare coverage, NPR reports.

Many of the eight million sign-ups in Obamacare exchanges nationwide already face more limited choices for physicians and hospitals than those in the private insurance market. But with low physician reimbursement rates, the problem could get even worse.

For a typical quick patient visit, Dr. Doug Gerard, a Connecticut internist, told NPR a private insurer would pay $100 while Medicare would pay around $80. But Obamacare plans are more likely to pay closer to $80, which Gerard says is unsustainable for his practice.

“I cannot accept a plan [in which] potentially commercial-type reimbursement rates were now going to be reimbursed at Medicare rates,” Dr. Gerard told NPR.  ”You have to maintain a certain mix in private practice between the low reimbursers and the high reimbursers to be able to keep the lights on.”

Narrow networks have become a hallmark of many Obamacare exchange plans, as one of few options left to insurance companies that allows them to save money by lowering reimbursement rates and covering fewer providers. In the health-care law’s first year, 70 percent of all Obamacare plan networks were either narrow or ultra-narrow, according to an analysis from consulting firm McKinsey.

But doctors are feeling even more financial pressure due to the changes and many believe there’s a risk that Obamacare insurance will go the way of Medicaid, where patients still struggle to find a doctor after low reimbursement rates led many physicians to stop accepting it.

“I don’t think most physicians know what they’re being reimbursed,” Gerard said. “Only when they start seeing some of those rates come through will they realize how low the rates are they agreed to.”

If Obamacare coverage continues on its current track, exchange customers could face a lower level of care than those who buy coverage in the private market.

“I think it could lead potentially to this kind of distinction that there are these different tiers of quality of care,” Connecticut Obamacare chief Kevin Counihan told NPR. ”That’s been something, at least in our state, that we’re trying to work against. And the carriers are, as well.”

The problem is especially bad for private practices like Gerard’s, where physicians’ income is directly tied to reimbursements. But hospitals — especially top-tier ones that treat the most difficult diseases — are also increasingly rejecting the low reimbursement rates. The nation’s best cancer treatment centers are often covered by very few exchange plans in their states; if Obamacare customers end up with a difficult-to-treat cancer, they’re likely to face a lower quality of care right off the bat.

 
“You get what you pay for,” said Connecticut State Medical Society president-elect Bob Russo. “If you can’t convince [doctors] that they’re not losing money doing their job, then it’s a problem. And they haven’t been able to convince people of that.”

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Offline mystery-ak

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Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 09:27:49 AM »
http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/04/doctors-begin-to-refuse-obamacare-patients/?print=1

Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients

Posted By Sarah Hurtubise On 2:13 PM 08/04/2014

Obamacare plans have shrunk payments to physicians so much that some doctors say they won’t be able to afford to accept Obamacare coverage, NPR reports.

Many of the eight million sign-ups in Obamacare exchanges nationwide already face more limited choices for physicians and hospitals than those in the private insurance market. But with low physician reimbursement rates, the problem could get even worse.

For a typical quick patient visit, Dr. Doug Gerard, a Connecticut internist, told NPR a private insurer would pay $100 while Medicare would pay around $80. But Obamacare plans are more likely to pay closer to $80, which Gerard says is unsustainable for his practice.

“I cannot accept a plan [in which] potentially commercial-type reimbursement rates were now going to be reimbursed at Medicare rates,” Dr. Gerard told NPR.  ”You have to maintain a certain mix in private practice between the low reimbursers and the high reimbursers to be able to keep the lights on.”

Narrow networks have become a hallmark of many Obamacare exchange plans, as one of few options left to insurance companies that allows them to save money by lowering reimbursement rates and covering fewer providers. In the health-care law’s first year, 70 percent of all Obamacare plan networks were either narrow or ultra-narrow, according to an analysis from consulting firm McKinsey.

But doctors are feeling even more financial pressure due to the changes and many believe there’s a risk that Obamacare insurance will go the way of Medicaid, where patients still struggle to find a doctor after low reimbursement rates led many physicians to stop accepting it.

“I don’t think most physicians know what they’re being reimbursed,” Gerard said. “Only when they start seeing some of those rates come through will they realize how low the rates are they agreed to.”

If Obamacare coverage continues on its current track, exchange customers could face a lower level of care than those who buy coverage in the private market.

“I think it could lead potentially to this kind of distinction that there are these different tiers of quality of care,” Connecticut Obamacare chief Kevin Counihan told NPR. ”That’s been something, at least in our state, that we’re trying to work against. And the carriers are, as well.”

The problem is especially bad for private practices like Gerard’s, where physicians’ income is directly tied to reimbursements. But hospitals — especially top-tier ones that treat the most difficult diseases — are also increasingly rejecting the low reimbursement rates. The nation’s best cancer treatment centers are often covered by very few exchange plans in their states; if Obamacare customers end up with a difficult-to-treat cancer, they’re likely to face a lower quality of care right off the bat.

“You get what you pay for,” said Connecticut State Medical Society president-elect Bob Russo. “If you can’t convince [doctors] that they’re not losing money doing their job, then it’s a problem. And they haven’t been able to convince people of that.”

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Offline Oceander

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Re: Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 11:01:51 AM »
:facepalm2:
Trump does not represent the will of the people.  If we really wanted to respect the decision of "the people," then Clinton would be the president-elect, not Trump, for the simple reason that she won the popular vote.

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 11:26:25 AM »
From the "quelle surprise" files, I guess.
A doctor of my acquaintance says he'll practically have to work 'round the clock at his office to see enough patients to be where he was financially in the pre-Obamacare days - and he says patient care will suffer as he can't give them the time they need.

Offline olde north church

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Re: Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 12:37:14 PM »
Physicians would be wise to stop taking ALL insurance plans.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 09:15:02 PM »
Physicians would be wise to stop taking ALL insurance plans.

One of mine did just that.  He charges $40 for a 15 minute visit which is pretty much all that 90% of his patients, myself included, need.  I only seem him every six months.  We just go over the blood test results (I have to take cholesterol medication thanks to inheriting naturally high cholesterol) and the usual medical checks that doctors do.  Other patients who have much more extensive problems he sees for a longer period of time and more often.  They can also pay a monthly/yearly fee which allows unlimited office visits so for some that is actually cheaper.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

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Offline Fishrrman

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Re: Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 10:11:41 PM »
Article title:
[[ Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients ]]

This won't do -- at least in the blue states.

Watch them pass state-level legislation banning discrimination by doctors against ObamaCare patients.

Or -- watch them pass legislation that makes a physician's license (or, his/her right to retain such license) dependent on the requirement that the doctor accept ObamaCare patients.

Absolutely, positively coming...

Offline olde north church

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Re: Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2014, 05:55:48 AM »
Article title:
[[ Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients ]]

This won't do -- at least in the blue states.

Watch them pass state-level legislation banning discrimination by doctors against ObamaCare patients.

Or -- watch them pass legislation that makes a physician's license (or, his/her right to retain such license) dependent on the requirement that the doctor accept ObamaCare patients.

Absolutely, positively coming...

They can't prevent them from retiring though.  Especially to Costa Rica.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2014, 09:40:23 AM »
All the problems of single-payer, complete with all the corporate favors of crony capitalism.

Isn't “moderation” and “compromise” grand?
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2014, 09:57:02 AM »
Article title:
[[ Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients ]]

This won't do -- at least in the blue states.

Watch them pass state-level legislation banning discrimination by doctors against ObamaCare patients.

Or -- watch them pass legislation that makes a physician's license (or, his/her right to retain such license) dependent on the requirement that the doctor accept ObamaCare patients.

Absolutely, positively coming...

of course.  I think that flag was run up the pole in MA not too long ago.
Trump does not represent the will of the people.  If we really wanted to respect the decision of "the people," then Clinton would be the president-elect, not Trump, for the simple reason that she won the popular vote.

Offline rangerrebew

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Re: Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2014, 12:00:57 PM »
Article title:
[[ Doctors Begin To Refuse Obamacare Patients ]]

This won't do -- at least in the blue states.

Watch them pass state-level legislation banning discrimination by doctors against ObamaCare patients.

Or -- watch them pass legislation that makes a physician's license (or, his/her right to retain such license) dependent on the requirement that the doctor accept ObamaCare patients.

Absolutely, positively coming...

Good thinking!!! :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 12:01:33 PM by rangerrebew »
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln


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