‘Physicians have reached a tipping point’
Dr. Louis McIntyre, from Westchester County, New York, testified with three other health care experts before part of the House Small Business Committee on Thursday to explain the increasing challenges Congress and insurance companies have put on doctors who work for small or solo practices.
Rising costs of malpractice insurance and regulatory paperwork, along with shrinking reimbursements paid to doctors on behalf of Medicare patients, have all but forced doctors to become hospital employees, McIntyre said. He believes patients will see the quality and accessibility of healthcare deteriorate as more and more doctors, struggling to eke out a profit, leave their private practices for hospitals.
“Doctors know that they cannot meet all the demands placed upon them in an environment of shrinking revenues and increasing costs, and take care of patients at the same time,” McIntyre said.
The malpractice insurance at McIntyre’s Westchester Orthopedic Associates increased from $40,000 to $110,000 per year per doctor between 1994 and 2010.
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