Doctor shortage & insurance is to blame
Bottom Line: For years, around 20 to be nearly exact, I’ve been advocating for the end of the health insurance first model. I’ve laid out common sense information that everyone this side of the most die-hard health insurance salesmen and Obamaites during the ACA debate agree with on principal (most notably that signing a piece of paper before receiving any healthcare services that states you’ll pay for whatever your insurance company doesn’t - despite not knowing the extent of the services you’ll receive nor the cost of them in advance). Still, the only thing that’s changed until recently has been the rate of healthcare cost increases every year.
More recently federal regs have mandated greater health service price transparency online – though that only works if you’re paying cash and know what service you need in advance - which often isn’t the case but still it’s a start. Florida recently passed additional transparency policy. This is all a step in the right direction. Still, it’s unlikely we’ll have true consumer price transparency and market forces reigning in prices until we break the back of the insurance first model. But aside from affordability there’s another new, and critical reason to move in that direction. Having doctors to provide the services.
The non-profit Aimed Alliance just completed comprehensive research of the state of physicians and found something alarming. Nearly half of all doctors are considering retirement or a career change right now. The top reason cited... Dealing with health insurance companies. Among the numbers...
- 87% of physicians believe that health insurance companies negatively impact patient's health
There’s one for you. The prominent reason for this is the red-tape and various rules patients and doctors follow based on coverage guidelines. Another huge reason to treat health insurance as we do all other forms of insurance in our lives. As something we rarely use and only in times of emergencies and/or a significant event.
Here’s another nugget. The top stressor for 37% of doctors today isn’t the job. It’s dealing with insurance companies. In fact, 65% of physicians say they worry about the legal risk they’re potentially placed in by altering best practices for treatments based on insurance. There’s a lot more to the research but you get the idea. Maybe one day you’ll join me in helping spread the word about the need to end the insurance first-model for health insurance. Preferably while we still have doctors left to serve us. And btw, think it’s bad now? Try Medicare for All. That’s a sure way to run these physicians off.