White coats and straightjackets: Why planned cost-saving measures will reduce your healthcare options

A patient recently asked me why doctors don’t spend more time communicating over email or by videoconferencing.

There’s a simple answer: Medicare hasn’t created a billing code for these services.

Medicare relies on a complicated and expanding schedule of codes for how it prices stuff. Outside of a few things that are bid in competitive markets (like pills and some low-tech equipment), Medicare establishes discrete “codes” for medical items and then establishes a price for each of these tens of thousands of different services.

Read the rest at The American.

Scott Gottlieb is a resident scholar at AEI.

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