Paying Doctors to Ignore Patients

By Peter B. Bach
The New York Times

The author, who is a doctor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and was a senior adviser to the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2005 to 2006, argues that there are problems with the Medicare payment system!  It’s the way payments are calculated.  According to the author, the incentive, or doctor’s profit opportunity, is not to spend time with patients, but to use equipment as much as possible.  Money is made moving the maximum number of patients through the practice and using equipment such as scanners as much as possible.  Dr. Bach advocates specific changes in the Medicare payment system as solutions to this problem.

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