Too Much??? Why??
I have lived too long. I started in a household where my father, a physician was well paid. He got one dollar for an office visit and I thought we lived fairly well. My last visit to a physician’s office was low. I guess because of “professional courtesy” but it was over one hundred dollars. Have doctors gotten better off than they were in the days of the single dollar office visit??? I don’t think so.
The cost of medical care has become astronomical. One of the kids in this area was helicoptered to the hospital. Before his hospitalization was started there was a $26K flight bill. Surgery and acute care were probably also astronomical and I am sure that none of the physicians who were involved with his care were rewarded very excessively.
The health care dollars has developed wings. I have listed a few but certainly not all of the organizations and people who survive thanks to the medical industry:
1. Medical insurance companies*
2. Hospitals and nursing care homes, regardless of “not for profit” or other status, The idea is to make it pay.
3. Malpractice insurance companies
4. Pharmaceutical companies
5. Companies that manufacture medical equipment
6. Newspapers as well as TV and Radio Stations who are helped by advertisements from physician groups and Hospitals spouting their ability. (Back in the old days spouting your superior abilities was considered “Unethical”.)
7. Real estate companies who rent medical offices.
8. The people hired by the government as well as insurance companies to investigate physician or medical fraud.
9. Increased office help required because of the complex billing systems and authorizations required on a daily basis.
10. Medical technologists
11. Malpractice lawyers
*A visit to any of the many insurance companies involved with medical matters and count the number of cars in their parking lots to get some idea of how many people we as physicians support.
To change any of these factors would increase unemployment and make for another recession, even though we haven’t survived the last one completely yet. “Sleep well and relax. it can get worse!!!”