Monday, January 16, 2012

Quick Links: Squeezing Doctors, Insurers, Patients

Dr. Craig Koniver explains why, "Doctors are forced to choose between really small or super big".

Government controls are squeezing out traditional small private practices. A few doctors will survive by running "concierge" practices. The rest will join large "Accountable Care Organizations", where they'll have to practice according to standardized "cost effectiveness" guidelines.

The 1/12/2012 New York Times reports, "U.S. Seeks Rollback of a Health Insurer's 'Excessive' Rate Increase".

The government will determine what benefits insurance companies must offer, who they must accept, and how much they can charge. Over time, insurance companies will become the equivalent of heavily regulated utilities -- "private" in name only. Or they'll be squeezed out of business altogether, leaving us with only a government "single payer" option.

The Atlantic reports, "5% of Americans Made Up 50% of U.S. Health Care Spending". Furthermore, "In 2009, the top 1% of patients accounted for 21.8% of expenditures."

As the government assumes greater control over health spending, it will place tremendous pressure on physicians to minimize spending for that top 5% (and especially for that top 1%). But don't call it rationing.