Monday, August 13, 2012

More Medicaid Woes

In the 7/31/2012 American Thinker, Dr. Zane Pollard warns, "Save American Medicine and Save Your Own Life".

In his piece, he discusses the frustrations he experiences daily dealing with the inflexible government Medicaid bureaucracy. Here's one example:
Recently, I operated on a 4-year-old who had esotropia (crossed eyes). I had obtained prior approval from Medicaid to do her surgery. On the day of surgery, I went to touch base with the child and family just before and noticed that the condition had changed since the original office visit. I now needed to perform a different surgery from that for which I had originally obtained permission.
The surgery went well, and the child had a very good result. Medicaid told me that since I had performed a surgery different from what I had requested, they were going to pay me nothing. In fact, the surgery that I performed was less costly to Medicaid than what I had originally requested.
Each of us, as a patient, trusts his physician to do the best humanly possible for him. We trust our doctors to change their minds to give what they feel is the best treatment at the time of delivery. How can anyone go to a doctor and trust him or her to do the best for us if the doctor knows that by changing the plan, he or she might be penalized?
Even worse, much of ObamaCare's expansion in "coverage" will involve moving people on the government Medicaid rolls.  Medicaid is already notorious for underpaying doctors (such that they lose money on each patient they see.)

In other words, Medicaid punishes doctors medically and financially. 

How long will doctors wish to keep working when their virtues are held against them?  And when these doctors leave medicine, what kind will remain?

(Read the full text of "Save American Medicine and Save Your Own Life".)