Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Business Of Medical Practice

The least well compensated physicians in the US are the kind that are most needed.  They are the general practitioners who manage the medical care of their clients.  This article explains why most physicians decide to specialize in performing medical procedures.  That is where the money is.  They not only get paid for performing the procedures, but many physicians have invested in diagnostic devises of various sorts; they have an incentive maximize their return on investment.  Too many physicians have become entrepreneurs.  They also employ lobbyists in Washington that look out for their financial interests.  Medical costs in the US are much higher than they are in any other country.  It is clearly unlike any other kind of market that we are familiar with.  Consumers don't really know what they are purchasing and prices are not available to them at the time of purchase.  Conservatives insist that it is really a market, and that prices can be driven down by smart consumers and competition between providers.  Liberals are primarily concerned about increasing access to healthcare, and most of their efforts to reduce costs are either short sighted or blocked by politicians who accuse them of playing God by deciding what government insurance will pay for a procedure and what procedures will be approved.  Nobody in their right mind would design a system like the one we have in the US, but we have a political system that is not well designed to make major changes.

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