So, let’s talk about how Obamacare is already adversely affecting patients with existing health insurance coverage, and the physicians who are trying to fix those patients.
This past week I had two scheduled visits with two different Orthopedic Surgeons, one for my left shoulder, and the other for right knee.
In case anyone is wondering, the visits were scheduled to address chronic discomfort from several acute injuries that I had sustained due to the very active lifestyle I live 😉
After evaluating my knee and confirming my diagnosis of a meniscus tear, the doctor began to lay out my options for treatment.Upon discussing these options, I notice the tone in his voice change when he brought up the fact that he had to schedule and MRI of my knee, and warned me that we had to wait for approval of the procedure.
It was obvious to me that he was not happy with the medical red tape involved with this procedure, so I asked him if there was a problem, and if Obamacare was already taking a toll on his practice.
It was like I opened the Pandora’s Box of Obamacare beat down, as this Doctor laid out the case for why Obamacare is, and will continue to be a disaster to the U.S. healthcare system. What is happening with tests like the one he ordered for my knee is, insurance carriers are looking to save money and are now hedging on approving expensive tests like these, in hopes to save a few dollars before next year’s full implementation of Obamacare.
We all know that insurance carriers have already threatened to raise premiums, but now they are reverting to compromising patient care to save a buck. The doctor told me a story of a 16-year-old patient of his who injured herself during a school athletic event, and was denied the MRI test he prescribed because the insurance company felt it was unnecessary.
What the insurance company did was, questioned the doctor’s ability to diagnose the case, question the gravity of the injury, and then refer the case to one of their ‘case workers,’ who would then re-evaluate the doctor’s findings, before they would reassess the denial of benefits.
Turns out that the case worker was not even doctor, let alone anyone with orthopedic knowledge. So a basic nobody was questioning a doctor’s best judgment and expertise on behalf of an insurance company that was being forced to cut corners simply because they fear what could happen to their bottom line under Obamacare.The doctor told me that he has to make 5-7 calls a day for other similar cases, just to try to get an approval. He added that once he had to discuss his diagnosis of a case with a retired Gynecologist. WTH!?
According to him, this threat to the individual’s healthcare is widespread and growing, as more and more doctors like himself, and not just in Orthopedics, are being forced out of private practice, and driven to hospital districts and groups that are beholden to the federal government for assistance.
Something else to keep in mind, like other physicians, orthopedic surgeons barely receive one-third of what they bill, and its suspected that insurance carriers will continue to cut what they pay out to hospitals and doctors, while medical overhead expenses for physician and hospitals stay the same or continue to rise.