Doctors and commissions

KWD-808-II Multi-Purpose Health Device

This, if true, is very depressing. Not that I have made many visits to a healthcare provider so far, but still. Doesn't make one trust that the expensive procedure is actually worth agreeing to, without a few second opinions.

Doctors - Managed Care and Health Insurance - Medicine and Health - Wages and Salaries - New York Times:
Primary care doctors and pediatricians, who rarely perform complex procedures, make less than specialists. They are attracting a declining percentage of medical students, and some states are facing a shortage of primary care doctors.

Doctors are also paid whether the procedures they perform go well or badly, Dr. Bach said, and whether they are crucial to a patient’s health or not..

“Almost all expenditures pass through the pen of a doctor,” he said. So a doctor may decide to perform a test that costs a total of $4,000 in order to make $800 for himself — when a cheaper test might work equally well. “This is a highly inefficient way to pay doctors,” Dr. Bach said.

Medicine shouldn't be treated as just another commodity, traded at the Mercantile Exchange. A 20% commission is pretty high - I pay that in a restaurant, if the service is decent, but I don't pay that to my local bartender ($1 a drink, unless they make special efforts on my behalf), or my cab driver (10%-15% depending on the trip).

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on July 30, 2007 6:40 PM.

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