"Blue Cross/Blue Shield Ordered to Disclose Physician Fees and Method For Calculating Payments to Participating Doctors"
This is a reasonably big deal … and I have mixed feelings about the whole "insurance companies vs physicians" topic. Ideally, physicians and insurance companies share a common goal: prevent and treat disease with the best medical care possible. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world .. and all too often .. self-interest gets in the way. Are the physicians acting in self-interest (and not the best interests of their patients) when they fight for better reimbursement? Perhaps. Once can make the argument (as the Medical Association of Georgia does in this press release) that better physician compensation = better patient care. But making that leap infers that the physician isn't paying for a house in Cancun with the better reimbursment. The usual agrument goes somethign like this: Better reimbursement means that physicians won't have to see bazillions of patients just to pay the rent. Trouble is … to pay for the house in Cancun .. they WILL have to see bazillions of patients .. so it remains the doc's responsibility to provide good care .. and not try to cram too many patients into their schedule just to maintain a certain lifestyle.