Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 6 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Manatee County Doctors Fear Rising Costs

Doctors are about ready to drop patients. Manatee County Doctors fear rising costs will force them out. At least for now a crisis is averted. In the final hours before the holiday recess, Congress stopped a medicare cut set for January 1st that would have reduced payments to doctors by 10%. Had the 10 percent cut gone through at least 25 local doctors were ready to limit their Medicare patients. None of those Doctors had yet mailed the mandatory 30 day notices to their patients but the letters were ready to go.

And they still are -- since a Congressional fix which includes a 0.5 percent increase for doctors lasts only until June 30. Then the 10 percent cut --mandated by the 1997 Balanced Budget Act--will come back again unless Congress again postpones the cut or permanently changes the formula that requires the cut.

UnitedHealthcare, one of the largest health-insurance providers in Florida looks at Medicare reimbursement rates as a general benchmark for provider reimbursement but these rates do not drive their reimbursement terms for service UnitedHealthcare creates its own proprietary rate schedules that are driven by local market dynamics such as availability, quality and consumer demands. Doctors who accept UnitedHealthcare contracts agree to those rates under duress because the insurance companies pit doctor against doctor when trying to force down the reimbursement costs as they build their lists of medical care providers for managed care plans.

They enter into contracts that specify a specific fee schedule which could pay as low as 80 percent of Medicare. If a doctor is unwilling to accept those fees, the insurance company threatens to move their patients to a doctor who will. So what does this mean for Manatee County patients? It means fewer doctors, and they’re getting paid less to take care of more patients, which means more doctors will likely leave the area.


Donna Wright, Doctors poised to drop patients, Bradenton Herald, January 6, 2008, page one





Rate It | View Ratings

Kenneth Briggs Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

An OEN Editor. Born-03/20/1934, BA Pol. Sci.-U of Washington-1956, MBA-Seattle U-1970, Boeing-Program Control-1957-1971, State of Oregon-Mental Health Division-Deputy Admistrator-1971-1979, llinois Association of Community MH (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Native Americans: They Were Seen as Savages

Doctors plan to use balance billing

Hopi Indian Nation

The Bush Legacy Propaganda

NAMI - The Nations Voice on Mental Illness

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend