The study found that physicians spent an average of three hours a week interacting with health insurance plans. For each physician in a medical practice, nursing staff, in the aggregate, spent an average of 23 weeks per year interacting with health plans, and clerical (non-clinical) staff, in the aggregate, spent an average of 44 weeks per year. The study estimated the total cost to each practice at $68,274 per physician per year.Yes, let's keep the government out of the healthcare business because private sector insurance is so much more efficient.
In addition to Medicare and Medicaid, there are more than a thousand health insurance companies in the United States. Individual physicians may only accept insurance from a few of them, but most insurance companies offer several different plans, which provide different coverage at different costs.
Navigating that system requires a huge administrative effort, Woolhandler said. Most physicians, even those in small, family practices, need to employ non-medical staff members to keep track of dozens of differing criteria depending on which insurance plan their patients are using. Nurses, physician assistants, and physicians themselves each are burdened with administrative tasks associated with billing and insurance.
We are so stupid...