As we know, the physician reimbursement system is skewed heavily towards performing procedures.
Increasing payments for office visits will obviously help primary care doctors, but as this orthopedic surgeon notes, can also help proceduralists. Studies have shown that in cases of knee osteoarthritis, patients who undergo arthroscopy do not necessarily have better outcomes.
With this in mind, “there are countless examples of orthopedic care that might benefit from increased office visit rates – one can imagine a surgeon taking a half hour to counsel a patient to AVOID a knee scope in a degenerative knee.”
Indeed, the best surgeons know when not to operate. With a payment system that encourages counseling, rather than a procedure, specialists will only be further encouraged to do what’s best for patients.