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.
Well-Heeled Healers: A Few Doctors Account for Large Chunk of Medicare Payouts — Physician’s First Watch
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)
The top 2% are providing a service that administers extremely expensive drugs - the drug companies are getting the bulk of their fees.
Medicare is to blame for this to happen. Forward all suspicious bills to Attorney general followed with punishments sending shivers thru profession
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!
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.