ACA is putting a financial squeeze on doctors and many are opting out

Dear readers,
I just read this article from Kaiser News:
Doctors Complain They Will Be Paid Less By Exchange Plans

Assuming you have a preferred doctor, you may want to have a chat with him or her about whether they’re going to be in an exchange.

Based on the Kaiser article, many doctors are not interested in the exchanges: “A survey by The Medical Society of the State of New York found that 40 percent of more than 400 physicians who had responded so far said they chose not to participate in a health insurer’s exchange plan, and one-third said they did not know whether they were participating or not.”

We know that general practitioners are already terribly busy and in short supply. I can’t imagine paying them less for anything given how hard they work, but that seems to be the impending situation:
“Physicians are uncomfortable discussing their rates because of antitrust laws, and insurers say the information is proprietary. But information cobbled together from interviews suggests that if the Medicare pays $90 for an office visit of a complex nature, and a commercial plan pays $100 or more, some exchange plans are offering $60 to $70.”

Rural areas of Wisconsin could get particularly hard hit by any flux or shortages in practitioners.

When I lived in the middle of nowhere in Southwestern Wisconsin and the doctor who served our local clinic got seriously ill, it took months and months for us to have another doctor. That might not have been a big deal for people who rarely visit a doc, but the individuals with regular needs had to face long drives to get to the next nearest doctor and take extra time off of work to deal with the driving, and pay for the extra gas, etc. etc.

Over at Correntewire, where I learned of this, lambert cynically said, “If you’re Walmart running a clinic, that’s not a bug. It’s a feature. Anyhow, what’s wrong with a two-tiered system? The poor deserve to suffer!”

There is a disturbing amount of truth packed in these few words but I’m not laughing. I’m angry.

Is this a Walmart-ready healthcare system created by Walmart Progressives? Looks like it to me.

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2 thoughts on “ACA is putting a financial squeeze on doctors and many are opting out

  1. Initially, doctors might fight the exchanges.

    But if patients gravitate to the exchanges, so must the doctors, who will have to face the reality of declining incomes. It’s like the doctor shortage caused by reform. Demand creates a need for more doctors.

  2. We have a huge problem with dentists here in the northwoods. Because the payback rate is less than one would get from a “regular” patient, very, very few dentists will take a BadgerCare of Medicare patient. We have only one dental clinic in 5 counties that will, and they do not do crowns or bridgework. To get that kind of dental work, you have to go to the one guy in Iron Mountain, Michigan. Folks save up and car pool there when they are able. It is really tragic to see so many people with dental pain, lost teeth and decay, and no way for them to fix it.

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