Advertisement

Well-Heeled Healers: A Few Doctors Account for Large Chunk of Medicare Payouts — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 10, 2014

Well-Heeled Healers: A Few Doctors Account for Large Chunk of Medicare Payouts

By Kelly Young

Roughly 2% of healthcare providers taking Medicare accounted for $15 billion in payouts — or almost a quarter of the $77 billion total — in 2012, according to a huge data set on payments to individual physicians released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Other facts gleaned from the data, as reported by the New York Times:

  • Among that top 2% of providers, ophthalmology and oncology/hematology were the specialties that received the highest Medicare payments.

  • About 100 physicians received a total of $610 million from Medicare in 2012.

  • One of the highest reimbursed procedures was ranibizumab (Lucentis), a treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration that is injected monthly. It cost $1 billion for 143,000 patients.

Reader Comments (5)

Edward Marcus MD Physician, Ophthalmology, Detroit, MI

It is outrageous to accuse ophthalmologists of pocketing millions of dollars that go directly to pharma companies. It is also outrageous to disparage people who work very hard and earn a well deserved living while devoting their lives to helping others every day. Being paid to provide a highly technical level of care to others is not fraud.

Sharylee Barnes M.D. Physician

The top 2% are providing a service that administers extremely expensive drugs - the drug companies are getting the bulk of their fees.

MOHINDER PARTAP Physician, Psychiatry

Medicare is to blame for this to happen. Forward all suspicious bills to Attorney general followed with punishments sending shivers thru profession

PbsanjabiMD Physician, Internal Medicine, Carbondale il

I hope the steps will be taken to correct this discrepancy and avoid the miss use of the laws by the few who give all of us a bad name .there is nothing wrong with proper pay for proper services but a few thousand dollars for few minutes of service is not proper!

CHRISTOPHER PECKINS Physician, Internal Medicine, Mount Auburn Hospital

I hope it will be noted that the pharmaceutical industry is taking a huge chunk of these tax-payers dollars. The $1 billion for Lucentis probably gets passed back to the drug maker; who generated that medicine partly via NIH funded work. Oddly, I've heard that some of these high profit pharmaceuticals actually claim their income is non-US and therefore don't return tax dollars.

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement