Yesterday, Healthcare Dive.com posted an article outlining the various proposals for a public health insurance program.
While it did not cover new ground, there was one part that made me curious as to why it was a big deal. It had to do with provider reimbursements under Medicare and Medicaid being lower, and if a single payer system was enacted, providers would see less in reimbursements.
Here is what Healthcare Dive said:
“Providers are already taking up arms against any expanded public health plan. Since Medicare and Medicaid tend to pay less than private payers, more government reimbursement would mean less money in hospitals’ coffers.”
Excuse me if I sound a little confused, but if you expand the number of persons covered for health insurance, even though you are being paid less under such a plan, won’t you still make more money than if the number of persons covered was smaller?
So for example, if x number of Americans are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, and the providers are reimbursed at a high amount without a single payer plan, wouldn’t covering all 300+ million Americans under single payer, mean that providers would make just about the same, or maybe even more than before single payer?
If providers were paid $1,000 for each of 200 covered individuals in the current system, totaling $20,000 for example, then by raising the number of covered under Medicare for All to let’s say, 3000, providers would be paid $800 for each covered person, then they would make $2.4 million. And for arguments sake, if there were fifty providers, then without MFA they each would make $400 each, but with MFA, they would make $48,000 each. Not bad.
So why are providers up in arms? Could it be that they are engaged in a financial version of adverse selection by wanting to only take private insurance reimbursements, and not single payer?
Or maybe that is part of the problem with our health care system? Pure, unadulterated greed.