Medpundit Looks At His Financials
1/11/2006 by Clark Venable
Ugh: I just spent the better part of the afternoon...:
"Ugh: I just spent the better part of the afternoon doing my least favorite task - reveiwing the financials of my practice. It doesn't look pretty. With Congress electing to decrease my pay by 4%, and my malpractice premium set to increase by 30% you can see it's not going to be a good year. The cost of supplies has been steadily going up, too, as have the cost of services. My medical waste haulers upped their fees by 20% in the past six months due to rising gas prices.
The Medicare cut may not sound like much, but it translates into a loss of about $2-3 per patient visit. And it isn't just limited to Medicare patients. Insurance companies base their rate of reimbursement as a percentage of Medicare fees. They might, say, pay 110% of whatever the fee Medicare pays. A practice that sees 25-30 patients a day will make $50-$90 less a day in 2006. That adds up quickly. Assuming a five-day work week, that adds up to $13,000 to $23,000 less over the course of the year. And despite what you might read in the newspapers, the majority of patients who pass through a doctor's office have health insurance - so the cut goes across the board.
How does that translate into day to day life? It means that my staff didn't get a cost of living raise this year. It means that I'll have to drop their health insurance if the premiums increase. And it means that I'm working harder - double booking patients when I can and adding an extra half day to my work week. Hopefully, I'll break even and avoid a decline in my own wages."