Higher-Earning Clinicians Earn More Money By Ordering More Procedures Per Patient

According to a research conducted by the UCLA, they found out that higher-earning clinicians make more money by ordering more procedures and services per patient rather than by seeing more patients. The said research can bee seen in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine issue.

This kind of situation may not be in the patients’ best interest because such clinicians may have the tendency to add unnecessary procedures to a patient rather than treating more.

part of their research was that they examined what Medicare was billed and what it paid to clinicians.

As stated by the researchers, Medicare spending is the biggest factor crowding out investment in all other social priorities. Also, with clinicians making more not by seeing more unique patients, but by providing more services per person, additional research needs to be done to determine if these additional services are contributing to improved quality of care. These findings suggest that the current health care reimbursement model – fee-for-service – may not be creating the correct incentives for clinicians to keep their patients healthy. Fee-for-service may not be the most reasonable way to reimburse physicians.

The researchers also added that their research regarding the Medicare data is very important because of its potential impact on public policy.

The findings from their research suggest a weakness in fee-for-service medicine. They also stated that it would make more sense to reimburse clinicians for providing high quality care, or for treating more patients. There probably should not be such wide variation in services for patients being treated for the same conditions.

The research group suggests that further research should be done to clearly assess the treatment outcomes between those who had more services ordered versus those who had less services offered. This may also show a clearer view of how to best target resources to maximize value for patients.

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