A way to help doctors that doesn’t require punishing patients
I remember reading that the AMA was going to grade health insurers. Well, the report is out and there are some sad results:
The American Medical Association issued its first health insurance report card at the group's annual meeting Monday. The primary focus is on how quickly and accurately doctors get paid.
"Physicians are spending 14 percent of their total revenue to simply obtain what they've earned," said Dr. William Dolan, an AMA board member. (Emphasis added.)
The report card is an effort to reduce the cost of claims processing to doctors and help them as they negotiate contracts with insurance companies, he said. The report card will help patients if it reduces wasteful administrative costs, Dolan added.
The report card compares Medicare and seven national commercial health insurers on the timeliness and accuracy of claims processing. It is based on a random sample drawn from 3 million claims.
There are no grades like A, B and C, and many of the technical measures may not mean much to most patients. But business leaders and health policy makers are interested in cutting an estimated annual $210 billion in wasted administrative claims processing costs, AMA leaders said. (Emphasis added.) Source: AMA issues first report card on health insurers - Yahoo! News
Wouldn't everyone be better off if we cut that 14% figure down to 4%? Or cut that $210 billion down to $10 billion? Focusing on eliminating these transaction costs doesn't hurt anyone, unlike enacting immoral policies like damage caps.