The value of physicians’ time

A big, fat zero:

At long last someone is saying in public what all of us in non-procedure- oriented medicine have realized for more than a decade. The current backward incentives in our era of “managed cost” are reducing quality and increasing cost. Our system compensates medical thinking and time at a value of zero unless, of course, there is a procedure or imaging study involved. Unless a physician is procedurally oriented or owns an imaging machine, the rational economic incentive is for the doctor to see patients as quickly as possible, because spending time to figure out diagnoses has no economic value under our current payment system.

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