Before Obamacare went into effect, thousands of doctors in private practice began selling their practices and either joining larger medical groups or leaving the field of medicine altogether. They knew then that their practices could not survive the mountains of paperwork and regulations to be imposed by Obamacare. They knew that the costs of Obamacare would be too great for their private practices to endure.
For those doctors that remained in practice, they are finding another aspect of Obamacare that is threatening their livelihood. The amount Obamacare policies pay the doctors is less than other insurance providers and many doctors say the decreased payments are unsustainable.
Dr. Doug Gerard, an internist who practices in Hartford, Connecticut is an example of what is happening. When a patient sees him for a typical office visit, Gerard is reimbursed $100 or more for the visit by the patient’s insurance company. However, patients who have an Obamacare purchased policy, Gerard only gets reimbursed $80, the same as he gets from treating a Medicare patient.
You may not think that $20 or more per visit isn’t much, but realize that many doctors in private practice have a very narrow profit margin due to the high costs of running a medical office, complying with all of the new Obamacare rules and paperwork and the high cost of malpractice insurance.
Consequently, Gerard has opted to refuse to accept the insurance from two of the three companies that offer plans through Connecticut’s Affordable Care Act marketplace.
Gerard commented about this, saying:
“I cannot accept a plan [in which] potentially commercial-type reimbursement rates were now going to be reimbursed at Medicare rates. You have to maintain a certain mix in private practice between the low reimbursers and the high reimbursers to be able to keep the lights on.”
“I don’t think most physicians know what they’re being reimbursed. Only when they start seeing some of those rates come through will they realize how low the rates are they agreed to.”
Many doctors have already stopped accepting Medicare patients for the same reason. A number of hospitals have also rejected many Obamacare plans because they are reimbursed too little. If more doctors follow Gerard’s example and reject Obamacare healthcare plans that pay doctors at Medicare rates, it could spell further doom for Obama’s flagship piece of legislation and cause it to come crashing down to the ground in ruins.
If Obamacare policies cost more and they pay doctors and hospitals less, where is all of the money going? Who’s getting rich off of the national socialist medical scheme?