Medicare

Internal medicine is dead, will concierge physicians thrive?

by Steven Knope, MD

For the last several years, writers in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association have authored doomsday editorials about the prognosis of primary care medicine. There has been much discussion about the fact that internists and family practitioners cannot keep pace with rising overheads and falling reimbursement under the traditional third-party payment system.

Paraphrasing a recent …

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Primary care is burdened by excessive paperwork

by Charles R. D’Agostino, MD

We’ve all seen the headlines –- “Primary Care Physicians Becoming a Scarce Breed”, “Wait Times for Appointments Increasing”, “Primary Care in Crisis” –- and have heard the pundits pontificating on the deteriorating state of primary care.

But rarely do we hear what’s happening from physicians on the front lines, those actually seeing patients. Consequently, with direct access to the primary care trenches, replete with an overworked …

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How much time do doctors spend on paperwork?

A common complaint is that doctors these days are spending more time doing clerical tasks.

Examples include filling out pre-authorization forms, talking to health plans for pre-certifications on imaging studies, and spending time jumping through bureaucratic hoops. Generally, you do not need a medical degree to do these tasks.

Bob Doherty points to a study that gives some numbers to back up the claims. Primary care doctors spend about 3.5 …

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Once you hit Medicare age, good luck finding a primary care doctor

Almost 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have trouble finding a new primary care doctor.

Expect that number to rise dramatically in the near future, as the number of Medicare beneficiaries balloons, and the amount of primary care physicians plummets.

The whole scenario is a perfect example of how poor physician access makes medical coverage practically worthless.

Contrary to popular belief, Medicare’s paperwork requirements and …

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Relative value units, and how the RVU payment system doesn’t allow doctors to practice good medicine

For those who don’t know, every piece of work that a doctor performs is quantified and measured.

The base unit of physician work is known as the relative value unit (RVU). Most physician salaries are determined by the amount of RVUs a doctor produces in a given year, and in most cases, can range between$35 and $45 per RVU in primary care, depending on geographic location and …

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When primary care refuses to accept Medicare

It’s never a problem, until it affects you.

Baby Boomers are going to be Medicare beneficiaries within the next few years, and some are finding out how difficult it is to find a primary care doctor.

Nationwide, about 30 percent of Medicare patients had difficulty finding a primary care physician during the past year.

As one patient puts it, “I must have made 12 calls before …

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Buy a condo, concierge medicine included

In the tough real estate market, luxury condominiums have to be creative with marketing:

Along with butler and concierge service, spa and sauna, buyers who purchase homes at the new luxury high-rise the Mansion on Peachtree receive two years of service from MD on Call, a mobile medical practice that treats patients in their homes.

Doctors from the service can see patients in their homes, and offer “everything from a throat culture …

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Geriatrics shortage

Niko Karvounis writes on the geriatrician shortage. As baby boomers approach Medicare age, finding doctors to coordinate their care is becoming more challenging. This is due to the same reasons exacerbating the primary care shortage.

Money, as always, is the answer. Not only financial incentives for medical students to choose the field, but the resources for medical schools to institute geriatrics into the curriculum.

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The entitled

What’s wrong with American healthcare in a nutshell: “How does it reflect upon American culture today when obviously affluent families try to persuade doctors to defraud Medicare? How are we going to cut costs in an era of so-called consumer-driven healthcare which implies that patients and their families are the ones directing care? It is cases such as this one that really make me angry when the public blame …

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