On 8/14/2010 3:08 PM, Robert Paul wrote:
Hospitals don't really like Medicare patients---who are by law charged less---taking up space; some doctors have begun to refuse to treat people whose only health insurance is Medicare.
True but not the whole story. Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHCs), for example, get a larger payment from Medicare than other hospitals.
The main problem is paperwork. A doctor must hire a person whose sole job is to fill out the voluminous and byzantine medicare paperwork for *every* office visit. Other people are hired solely to fill out paperwork for other insurance providers. If paperwork is not completed in time, Medicare will not pay. Same with other forms of insurance.
Obamacare has made this much worse. More paperwork. The private medical practice is now dead. It is now *entirely* corporate. Corporate medicine means the end of what doctors call "medical art," which involves treating a patient's individual differences, going beyond the guidelines as all good doctors used to do. Instead there are corporate "best practices" controlled by insurance companies, rather than medical science, which is why Medicare patients get the boot more quickly.
On top of this and far worse is the new EMR mandate. Electronic medical records are being centralized. They will be used to deny low-cost insurance to some, to deny jobs to others, and to increase government control of individuals. The only way to stay off that grid is to be wealthy and pay for all medical treatment in cash, to pay for "medical tourism," where if you are unlucky, you may pick up a new superbug, as has just occurred with patients in India.
If Williams were alive, he would not be writing poetry in the early hours; he would be sleeping a few hours between pages (doctors forced to take care of hospital patients and clinic patients so he could treat his corporately mandated number of patients at the corporate clinic. Think Glenngary Glenn Ross for doctors. Not enough patient visits and it's extra hours added at a nursing home or some other branch of the corporate healthcare facilities. "I suppose you'll be wanting all day off on Christmas, Dr. Cratchet?"
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