Monday, July 4, 2011
On Jan. 1, Medicare began waiving out-of-pocket fees for certain preventive services, such as bone-mass measurements, hepatitis B vaccine, wellness exams and tobacco-cessation counseling and since then 5.5 million people have jumped on board. Getting people to do these things does a lot of good but saving money is probably not one of them. Getting rid of these small fees also opens up the flood gates of people who want something for nothing. I will let the statisticians debate whether Medicare will save money on this. I am still convinced, however, that our culture is different than those in foreign countries. Our favorite four letter word is FREE. We hate paying for things and will take advantage of everything free that we possibly can. Heck, this article proves it. Could these patients really not afford these services before? Really? Unfortunately, these new expectations of free services will be in the future just that - expected. That is why I have also been concerned that giving all healthcare for free would drain all our resources as well as devalue what we as physicians do. For example, a small co-pay is affordable yet some people balk at it, while they drive away in their BMWs and talking on their cells.
Posted by Authentic Medicine Blog at 6:16 AM