Friday, September 4, 2009

Universal Debt

I have not been posting as regularly as I would like to. I've been busy working and spending whatever leftover time reading about proposed health care reform....The townhall meetings have raised a lot of questions and questionable answers.  Legislators admit, there is no bill.  (How could President Obama even suggest it could be decided an passed before the August recess?)

One has to learn to read between the lines and hear what is not being said during these townhalls.

A disturbing trend is how the media develops opinions and offers criticisms regarding the proposals.  I've taken some time to read parts of the drafts and read some analysis by those who have a lot more time than I do.

There is a high interest and    opinions in the blogosphere as well. I check on that daily to find bloggers have a lot of  'sechel', a yiddish term for common sense and smarts.

To keep my brain from rotting out as I approach retirement I have  contracted with the --------- (at an undisclosed location). After a long and busy professional life in private practice I am now a 'humble" worker in a defense installation. I've been here about a year and as I have always suspected that this is how socialized medicine would be.

I see 14 patients a day, spend about half of my day entering histories and finding into the EMR.  Sometimes I have a technician, and rarely have an assistant with me at surgery. In private practice most eye surgeons will do 4 cases/hour, here it's about one and maybe 2 cases/hour.  No ASC or surgery center could make it on that volume.  In a socialized system, it would not matter....in fact it would be a good thing.  I do my own clerical work, phone calls, chase down small things (much like an intern). I have volunteer workers who come to my office and open my cabinets, to explore and see if I have any 'unauthorized and/or expired bottles of drops in my cabinets. If so, they disappear without any communication with me.  I am not allowed to keep things like 1% Atropine in my lane, for fear I might use it to dilate a general by mistake for over a week. 

Surprisingly coding is a big issue....and I spend at least half of my documentation with CPT and ICD coding.  The  ----- does use an accountability system based on RVUs and each doctor is audited, so that the budget can be justified.  The system however is a bit unique and allows 'up-coding' generously, in that bilateral procedures are coded for twice the RVUs.

On the up side,as I head closer to retirement, this phase of my career allows me to continue caring for patients...the reason I went into medicine in the first place...We all know how much commitment, dedication and sheer will power and energy is required to practice medicine either solo or in a group setting.

Interspersed with all of this  is the necessary day to day family and individual personal and financial commitments.

Unless you have walked in my shoes....don't criticize, or give me unneeded advise, unless I ask.  I am not bashful about telling some pundits and 'reformers' to "buzz off"

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