Government

Paying for that doctors visit …

According to CMS:

Physician and Clinical Services (20 percent share): Spending on physician and clinical services increased 6.3 percent in 2015 to $634.9 billion. This was an acceleration from growth of 4.8 percent in 2014 and was the first time since 2005 that the growth rate exceeded 6.0 percent. As with hospitals, the faster growth in overall physician and clinical services spending was driven by continued growth in non-price factors. Price growth for physician and clinical services, however, declined 1.1 percent in 2015, driven by the expiration of temporary increases in Medicaid payments to primary care physicians.

Perhaps being price sensitive at the right time is not so bad, Perhaps paying for an office visit as you do a shopping spree might get people thinking. Perhaps knowing what something really costs is good. 

That fact is there was a time when health insurance did not pay for many outpatient services, when it was insurance designed as it was intended; to cover a true financial risk. 

Our current state of mind largely based on “free” is our worst enemy when it comes to a viable health care payment system. How can we get anywhere when the majority think it’s perfectly proper to make birth control pills, flu shots or other screenings free without considering ability to pay? 

And by the way, nothing changes under a Medicare-for-all scheme. In fact, it’s worse especially the driving factors of utilization and intensity of care provided. 

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