Health Care Reform and Doctors Challenges

Healthcare changes are coming, whether Doctors like it or not! Obama care is here and the changes are just beginning. These changes are going to be effecting everyone in this country. Like it or not, healthcare reform is here. One thing is for show, things are going to change! Doctors in this country have been seeing their incomes drop and paperwork going up. I am always an optimist, however, I have never seen the government get involved in anything and cause less paperwork and more money. I can be assured that there will be more paperwork and probably a little less money for doctors.

Doctors have seen decreasing incomes over the past few years, even longer. The so-called Mercedes 80’s are long long gone! I wasn’t even ever around to experience it. Well, what does this mean. No one really knows what healthcare reform will bring. Healthcare reform will add many new patients to the market, making more patients available to the average doctor. The question will be, how will the reimbursement be, and how much work will it be. In my experience with certain insurances run by states or federal government, pay tends to be much lower and paperwork much higher. I stopped accepting Medicaid in my office years ago because it was costing me more to file claims and do paperwork than it was paying!

This type of scenario will probably be pretty likely in the future. Some of the new federal rules will require more paperwork and less reimbursement. It will be a difficult decision to decide which ones to accept and which to not. Doctors assume they don’t have a particular cost with each patient, but they are wrong. Every patient costs money, whether it is just doctor and staff time, wear and tear on your equipment, and many procedures have fixed costs, supplies, medications, etc. It is not free to treat a patient. You should try to figure out your costs per patient visit, this is not always possible, but it can be. Figure it out, or guesstimate the best you can.

So, what are doctors going to do. Things will change and you better change as well. The paperwork will be burdensome, and you better figure it out. If it matches the trends we are seeing now, there will be more. The big thing with these forms, paperwork, etc, is that someone probably already did it. Why re-invent the wheel, The appeal letter you need, office form you need, letter of discipline you need, someone probably already wrote it! Why would you spend hours fixing it yourself, There are two things you are allowed to do in your practice. 1. Treat Patients. 2. Work on your business. Don’t do anything else.

I can say this, of course, because I was a terrible offender. I would spend days working on a PowerPoint for presentation, writing an appeal letter, staff disciplinary letter, something. I spent many hours on this, and I did it well. However, it was not a great way to spend time. But, since I was good at it, everyone always asked me for my paperwork. I didn’t mind helping friends, but I figured there had to be another way. I couldn’t find anything, so I decided I would have to make something. So, I had a web developer make me site that would allow docs to buy, sell, and trade paperwork, spreadsheets, PowerPoint’s, just about anything you would need. The site is called Docs Pay Docs and it could change your practice.

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