Where Are The Medicare Dollars Going?

A recent analysis of Medicare data provided to The New York Times shows that two percent of doctors earn twenty-four percent of Medicare payments.


Comments (21)

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  1. Gabriel R says:

    Doctors will receive more scrutiny for being high billers to Medicaid. This is a mixed message the government is sending, adding disincentives for doctors to continue to receive Medicaid patients. If these physicians are targeted there is a chance that they stop receiving these patients and triggering the implosion of the system.

  2. Matthew says:

    “Where Are The Medicare Dollars Going?”

    It looks like it is going to 2% of doctors. These Medicare doctors are receiving huge payouts, something fishy is afoot.

    • Thomas says:

      It looks like the most lucrative field of medicine to go to is to be an ophthalmologist and to accept Medicare.

      • James M. says:

        Shocking that their payments are nearly double what it is for cardiologists considering the rise in heart disease.

        • Lucas E says:

          Think about it, losing sight is common among elders (almost everyone will start losing their sight as they grow old). The symptoms are normally easier to see (or not to see, ironically) and normally they have visited an eye specialist before that can provide the treatment or recommend someone who can treat them. Heart disease on the other hand is harder to notice and only few people actually have routine heart checks. I am not surprised that the amount of patients is significantly higher it worries me the disproportionate cost.

      • Jimbino says:

        I just had cataract surgery here in Rio de Janeiro that cost half what’s charged in the USSA. I paid cash, no insurance, no muss, no fuss.

        I’d love to be bought out of my Medicare rights in order to finance cash-paid treatment in Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Hungary, the Czech Republic, India and Thailand.

        I have no use for the stupidity of Medicare or Obamacare in the USSA.

        • John R. Graham says:

          Thank you. I wonder what would happen if HHS announced that if a patient went offshore to get cataract treatment, Medicare would pay and offer some percentage of the difference between domestic and foreign costs as an incentive added to Social Security deposits.

          I expect there would be significant net savings.

  3. Andrew says:

    “Regulators and others are also likely to seize on some of this information to find those doctors who perform an unusually high volume of services, raising the question of whether every test or procedure was medically necessary.”

    This is the first thought that came to my mind. Are many of these procedures medically necessary.

    • Francois St. Theroux says:

      “There’s a lot of potential for whistle-blowers and justified worry for fraudsters,”

      You can’t say that there isn’t reason to worry. I would recommend greater scrutiny for physicians and specialty doctors who accept Medicare.

      • Roman R says:

        Higher scrutiny = less doctors accepting Medicaid. I rather overpay doctors for doing something (even if in some cases it means unnecessary tests) that don’t have doctors to provide these services. Currently only few doctors accept Medicaid, the consequences would be devastating if this number significantly decreased.

      • Ralph G says:

        Why do we need higher scrutiny for doctors that “rip-off” the government, who can pay, and ignore those doctors that are over-charging the patients without insurance? I would rather check those doctors who treat individuals (that can charge whatever they want) than those who treat Medicaid patients (which will receive a stated, “fair” amount).

  4. Frank T says:

    The largest Medicaid payments go to specialists that treat a common disease and that require expensive pharmaceuticals to treat them. It gives the impression to onlookers that there is something weird going on in the market. Some sort of agreement to keep prices high and that way take as much money from the people as possible.

  5. Walter Q. says:

    “About 2 percent of doctors account for about $15 billion in Medicare payments, roughly a quarter of the total, according an analysis of the data by The New York Times”

    Such as huge disparity in reimbursement has to be unsettling as to where the money is going.

  6. Raul F says:

    It calls my attention that there are no OB/GYNs in the table reported by the NYT. I would imagine that these doctors see a large amount of patients thus receiving a significant percentage of Medicaid payments.

    • Andrew says:

      Its for Medicare, not Medicaid. There are not too many seniors getting pregnant these days.

  7. Perry says:

    Oddly, one of the top earners loaned his jet to a New Jersey Democratic congressman for trips out of the country.

  8. A. Shleifer says:

    “It looks like it is going to 2% of doctors. These Medicare doctors are receiving huge payouts, something fishy is afoot.”
    Agreed. They are over paid.