What happens when you cut doctors’ reimbursement rates?

Here’s a shocker …

They spend less time seeing patients.

Medscape does an annual hours and pay survey.

For 2013, the Medscape survey said that the average doctor was face-to-face with patients about 41 hours …. with about 2/3s of them in the 40 to 50 hours cluster.


How does the 41 hours compare to historical rates?



According to Medscape:

A 2010 study in JAMA found that after no significant change between 1977 and 1997 in the hours per week that physicians spend with patients’

Patient hours decreased steadily from 54.6 to 51.0 between 1997 and 2007.

The study authors attributed the decrease to a parallel 25% inflation-adjusted decline in fees between 1996 and 2006.

Shocker, right? 54.6 to 51 to 41 …

Pay somebody less and they’re less incentivized to bust their humps.

Think about that each time you hear about the Feds and insurance companies ratchet down the reimbursement rates to “fix” the healthcare system,

I’m betting the under on that one.


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