Doctors Push Back on Release of Data

doctor-xray-2Doctors reacted swiftly and indignantly to Wednesday’s release of government records revealing unprecedented details about Medicare payments to physicians…The top 10 doctors alone received a combined $121.4 million for Medicare Part B payments in 2012…In interviews, many of the doctors said they were just passing through the payment to drug companies. Some said they were unfairly singled out even though they were billing for an entire practice. And still others disputed the accuracy of Medicare data. (Washington Post)

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  1. Violet says:

    “People are going to see these numbers and people aren’t going to understand,” he said. “I am not pocketing $5.3 million. To tell you the truth, I know there’s been a lot of Medicare fraud, and I understand the government wants to provide a measure of transparency. But when they throw out numbers like this without any context, it’s going to be misconstrued by the public.”

    That’s so true, with so many issues – people hear the sound bite, not the details.

  2. Steve says:

    Releasing these numbers like this is kind of misleading. And unfair to the doctors.

    • Ted says:

      Yeah. It’s a big chunk of change, to be sure. But the way it was released makes it sound like the doctors are pocketing it.

      • Steve says:

        People seem to forget that hospitals are businesses. Sure, they bring in money. But they have expenses too.

        • Ted says:

          Buying the medications, paying employees, keeping the lights on: it’s an expensive process.

        • Mary says:

          They are businesses. And we should allow them to run as such. The government needs to stop sticking its nose in where it doesn’t belong.

    • D. Acemoglu says:

      I do not see any advantage to release the data.

  3. Lacey says:

    If my doctor’s taking in millions from Medicare, why am I paying so much to see them?

  4. Elizabeth says:

    “He said all the billings for chemotherapy drugs at his five-physician practice were under his name.”

    Can I just point out that this seems like a terrible system?

    • Ava says:

      From what I read in the article, it seems to be fairly common practice

      • Elizabeth says:

        Common doesn’t always equate to smart. It seems inefficient and a little sketch to order all the drugs under one doctor’s name.

        • Ava says:

          It’s probably some sort of oversight thing. You know, like the last doctor checks over all the orders and okays them before placing it?

    • Erik says:

      It’s because some doctor double dip. They say they don’t take insurance to charge you a cash price and for others they simply put the charge through the only appointed doctor to get reimbursed.

      And Yes, it is why your medical costs are so high.

  5. Polly says:

    “About 1 in 4 of the top-paid doctors — 87 of them — practice in Florida, a state known both for high Medicare spending and widespread fraud.”

    Quite the reputation!

  6. Yancey Ward says:

    What a shock, the administration releasing misleading numbers.

    Look, this sort of thing is a shot across the bow warning doctors everywhere to keep their mouths shut about healthcare.