The complaint that tort claims are the cause of spiralling health care costs is one of the biggest scams in decades. I really encourage people to delve into this issue full throttle ahead so you get the cealr picture of what is driving the cost craziness.
It is insurance billing silly.
If the facts here are trustworthy then at $83,000 a year, an an average of 1.5 million doctors alone, not including other insurance billing providers, the extrapolated cost is something like $8,300,000,000 each year in add-on indirect costs to your health care.
Perhaps more members of CONgress should pay attention to real facts and not silly nonsense.
Health insurance paperwork costs doctors big money
By Andrew Doughman, Orlando SentinelAugust 4, 2011
Health insurance costs aren't just a patient concern. Dealing with health insurance paperwork costs American doctors an average of nearly $83,000 per year.
That's the cost of the time and labor it takes for physicians' employees to correspond with various insurance plans about claims, coverage and billing for patient care and prescription drugs.
The study, published Wednesday in the journal Health Affairs, found that Canadian physicians spend about a fourth as much as their American counterparts to complete their necessary paperwork.
Researchers surveyed physicians in Ontario, who said health insurance paperwork costs them an average of $22,205 a year.
In terms of time, paperwork takes an average of nearly 21 hours per week for American physicians versus slightly more than 2 hours per week on average for Canadian physicians."The major difference between the United States and Ontario is that non-physician staff members in the United States spend large amounts of time obtaining prior authorizations and on billing," wrote Dante Morra, an assistant professor from the University of Toronto.American physicians must interact with many different insurers, which have different rules and methods for filing claims. They also must spend time obtaining authorization for certain medical procedures, which, the authors said, can ultimately save money and prevent doctors from giving inappropriate care.
The researchers from Cornell University and the University of Toronto concluded that American physicians and insurance companies could interact "much more efficiently" if claims were filed electronically rather than via mail or fax.If American physicians had administrative costs that matched those of the Ontario doctors, physicians could save as much as $27.6 billion a year.Canada has a single-payer health system, which means physicians are filing only one type of paperwork.
The study's authors also noted that these costs have to be weighed against positive factors such as competition between insurance providers and choices provided to consumers under the U.S. health system.
The researchers conducted their survey by pulling together data from several previous surveys and surveying 216 physicians in Ontario.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-650-6333Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel
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