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(c) 2014 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hospital Controlled Physician Access and Workers' Compensation

As hospital consolidation of physician practices by acquisition continues, the question of the impact on control of the cost workers' compensation medical delivery remains uncertain.

Hospitals, supported by private equity, are now buying physician practices at a greater pace than ever before making choices for physician care more limited and at a higher cost. The New York Times reports that physicians who sell their practices hospitals find that they are under pressure to meet economic challenges of hospital targeted fees and are restricted in the referral of patients.

"....the consolidation of health care may be coming at a hefty price. By one estimate, under its current reimbursement system, Medicare is paying in excess of a billion dollars a year more for the same services because hospitals, citing higher overall costs, can charge more when the doctors work for them. Laser eye surgery, for example, can cost $738 when performed by a hospital-employed doctor, compared with $389 when done by an unaffiliated doctor, according to national estimates by the independent Congressional panel that oversees Medicare. An echocardiogram can cost about twice as much in a hospital: $319, versus $143 in a doctor’s office."

Read the complete article:  A Hospital War Reflects a Bind for Doctors in the U.S.

Read more about "medical Costs" and workers' compensation

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