Every day, hospitals and health systems are buying independent doctors and turning them into employed physicians. When they do, hospitals tack a facility fee onto the doctor’s fee every time he or she performs a procedure. These fees add zero value, yet the law allows hospitals to charge them to “cover overhead.” These money-for-nothing fees are one reason hospitals can afford to pay doctors more than doctors can earn on their own, and lure them out of independent practice—a trend that is unhealthy for doctors and for Americans.
It looks like CMS is finally doing something to help this but it is a law that needs to be changed. The American Hospital Association is not just going to let that happen as they spent $22 million to get it to go their way in the first place. While we wait for that fight there are some things, in my opinion, that we can do:
- Find out who is charging these facility fees and don’t send patients there if possible.
- Get prices from places out of town so you can let patients decide if the cost is worth the ride.
- Support independent and DPC docs!
ANY OTHER IDEAS?