The stats are in. Looks like some doctors are doing a day’s worth of paperwork every week. There’s something clearly wrong with that picture. In the spirit of things not working in healthcare, here’s a well-designed infographic on where profits are headed for our industry as a whole.
These stats are VERY ALARMING. But don’t get completely bent out of shape yet. Let’s break down a few stats and provide some context.
Only 9% of physicians describe their current staff, technology and processes for getting paid as “very effective”
This is a leading question, though… What happens if we just asked about payment process, or technology… ? We’d get a different number obviously. Not that we think don’t think the industry needs an overhaul. But still, we’re dealing with doctors here. We’d like to see more objective data here.
36% of practices are likely to see their profits fall next year.
Right now, the U.S. has about 4,400 concierge medicine doctors. Based on all the concern over our growing industry, and ITS “THREAT” THE STATE OF THE UNION (insert more sarcasm), we can conclude one thing: Concierge Medicine isn’t worried about falling profits.
48% of polled doctors are concerned that Affordble Care Act will negatively affect practice profitability.
This should come with a caveat: we don’t KNOW exactly what will happen. However, we do have some relevant news in. Forbes reports that Obamacare Insurance Premiums in California, called Covered California. did not cause market prices to rise. In fact, there was a major sticker shock. The actuaries were off, by a lot. Actuaries predicted a Silver Plan mired by a large pool including sick and the elderly would reach $450/mo statewide—it’s now priced at about $276/mo. So there’s two things at stake here: One, we need to be careful about what hoopla we let ourselves get caught up in. At the same time, GOOD news about insurance rates, is NOT GOOD NEWS about patient care. These things are separate but related. Let’s remember that.
48% of doctors say they cannot take any of the 30 million new patients from ACA.
We have opposed this bill from the start. But we’ve also bee in defiance of the fiasco that is our healthcare system. Of course, we want those 30 million people to receive good healthcare. But we also want to create an opportunity for people to get good healthcare, and diminish their need for more of it down the road. And, the irony of this whole mess is that the system that’s enabling 30 million people to get insurance, is the same system burdening doctors.
58% of doctors spend more than a day a week on paperwork, not patients.
And this is the root of our argument against Obamacare. More government, means more paperwork, and forms, and billing codes. And more pressure on practices to keep up with the rising bureaucratic pressures. This means DECREASED profits because of larger staffs, and fewer patients who are administered.
So what gives? What happens when doctors see more patients, and do more paperwork, and make less money? They stop being doctors. Which is what we’re already seeing. And, yes, it sounds like a lot of the sky is falling. But that’s not what this is about. This is about doctors being able to practice medicine again. That’s what we’re doing. Making money by providing a good service. And to be honest, we’d like to continue making money. But one way we want to do that is by helping other doctors PRACTICE GOOD MEDICINE. This should be common sense. This shouldn’t need preaching.