Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Does Medicare Pay Doctors Less?

This article breaks down the true cost of Medicare and exactly where those dollars are being spent. For years it was believed that doctors pocketed big bucks from the inflated costs of Medicare but this article challenges that belief. Read more to learn the behind the scenes details of health insurance.
Medicare has the bad rap of being a big, bloated government program, but it's not because it's overpaying doctors. CNNMoney analyzed the "allowed charges" for five common procedures, using data provided the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Truven Health Analytics, a research firm. The differences can be stark. Private insurers allow an average of $1,226 for low-back disc surgery, while Medicare will only permit $654, for instance. And the gap can grow wider depending on where the patient is. In New York, insurers allow $1,352 for a gall bladder removal, compared to $580 for Medicare. Some services are more comparable. For office visits by established patients, for instance, Medicare will allow 92% of what insurers do. Overall, Medicare's allowed charges are roughly 80% of the charges allowed by private insurers - about the same as they have been since 1999.

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