The government pays doctors in two different ways - Medicaid and Medicare. The first one reimburses so little that many physicians no longer see Medicaid patients lest they go bankrupt. Medicare, too, is starting to become shaky and many physicians are actually no longer seeing new Medicare patients or just opting out altogether. Medicare uses complex formulas to set the rates they pay doctors for each visit and they are not negotiable. Now, compare this to what the law firm that is dealing with bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers is asking to be paid. Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP is claiming it worked more than 100,000 billable hours from September 15th and the end of January. The lead lawyer is asking for $950 an hour for the 795 hours he claims he worked during that time. That is over 50 hours a week for 15 weeks straight. The Federal bankruptcy judge is being asked to sign off on a $55 million bill for all of this and he probably won't bat an eye when he does. When I bill Medicare for a complete physical on an elderly patient...oh, wait a minute, they won't pay for complete physicals.....sorry. When I bill Medicare to do a "periodic review" on an elderly patient, I need extensive documentation as proof of the work that I have done. Turns out that the small glitch in this Lehman Brothers liquidation case is that there is "a fundamental flaw in the process by which advisers get paid because there are limited ways to verify a firm's charges". Well, I guess we just have to trust the attorneys here. I guarantee you are laughing at that last line, aren't you?