The government has excluded medical insurance companies from the anti-monopoly laws that prevent price fixing. The result is that doctors in private practice are seeing insurance reimbursements decrease by 50% or more. But…if we join a large group like a Hospital Group or HMO Health Maintenance Organization, rates bounce right back up 50%. The income goes to the HMO, and doctors are hired on salary.
The family doctor with his black bag and house calls is now relegated to managed care requirements in an office. Management defines the number of patients that must be seen. Failure to do the required volume results in salary reductions and benefit losses.
Worse still is the continuing corporate mentality that doctors, physician assistants (PA), and nurse practitioners (NP) are a cost that must be controlled. This results in constant bombardment by all levels of support staff directed at making the providers work harder and cost less.
In reality, and this is critical, the only assets in any medical organization are the providers. They earn ALL the income that supports the entire bloated HMO organizations. No one else makes a penny. Stop treating your only assets as cost centers and the corporate culture will change overnight. Patients will get better care.
Doctors retire to avoid getting fired. We are talking among ourselves about work abuses, electronic medical record demands, loss of benefits and reducing salaries, and disrespect of management at all levels. Those that care enough to fight back are getting fired and replaced with lesser trained PAs and NPs – because they cost less. There is an element of fear in the workplace that contributes to “provider burnout,” and absolutely results in decreased patient care.
There is an easy solution. Begin treating providers as assets. Lose the mentality that you must control their cost. Focus the entire corporate structure on supporting efficiency, provider satisfaction, and reward medical staff accordingly. This includes nurses and medical assistants that provide so much of the quality care patients deserve.
Do it now or continue to fail your patients.