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September 30th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Doctor: 'Why I decided to join an insurance-free practice'

Val Jones, MD
CEO, Better Health

Ever wonder why your physician only spends 5-10 rushed minutes with you during your office visit? You may think it’s because there are simply too many patients vying for her time, but that’s not the real reason. The root cause is that health insurance companies are stealing time from your visit by requiring excessive documentation from your doctor. She can’t give you the time you need, because doing so would put her out of business.

In a special report on the administrative burden of healthcare, MedPage Today revealed that PCPs spend about one third of their income on documentation required by health insurers. Because they run a business with thin margins, they must increase the volume of patients they treat in order to cover the salaries of the staff required to manage this “paper weight.”

About 49% of all physicians have said that they are considering retiring or quitting medicine in the next two years (the rate is lower for specialists), largely because of increasing documentation requirements and decreasing reimbursement.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care • Medical News
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. ljones57

    The fact of the matter is, that this country was built on greed and the
    sickening desire for power; ( By any means necessary!) And I don't
    see it changing any time soon.

    October 1, 2009 at 2:29 am |
  2. Melissa

    Its time to end insurance companies.

    September 30, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  3. Mike in NYC

    Would the administrative burdens on doctors be any different under a gov't-run insurance plan? It's hard to see how taking insurance company profit out of the picture would eliminate things like coding and billing.

    Personally, I think straight fee-for-service is the way to go, whatever kinks might have to be ironed out along the way.

    September 30, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  4. Kelsey Roberts

    It is astounding to me just how inhuman and heartless insurance companies are. Medicine is supposed to be about taking care of those in need, not pleasing a faceless collection of bureaucrats with little to no actual knowledge of the business.

    September 30, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  5. Mundo

    Sounds like a testimonial for Electronic Health/Medical Record and Health Care Reform

    September 30, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  6. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Anyone think that a government run plan will require less documentation?

    September 30, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  7. Enough

    And if the government option plan had passed, the paperwork would have been a nightmare. Anything with the government involved lacks common sense. Have the auto dealers finally received their cash for clunkers rebates?

    September 30, 2009 at 9:25 am |