The Problem of Physician Pay
There's a lot of smart stuff in this roundtable about how much doctors should be paid. I'd just note that doctor compensation, like executive compensation, is less about how much doctors get paid than what the payment structure incentivizes them to do.
As example, Liam Yore, an emergency room doctor, notes that emergency rooms pay a lot more for procedures than for so-called "cognitive medicine" like diagnoses and medical management. "Sewing a facial laceration pays far better than accurately diagnosing a heart attack," he writes. "The same principle applies to any procedure — from angiograms to colonoscopies." Start with that insight and it's not hard to build a model in which the ranks of doctors slowly fill with the sort of people who prefer surgical interventions to cognitive medicine because the other people drop out or don't have enough revenue to advertise, popularize, and modernize their practices. Changing that is hard. And Dr. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein aren't saying anything particularly controversial when they write that "there are a variety of bad ways of paying doctors, but no particularly good ones."
Posted by: lfstevens | June 27, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: whoisjohngaltcom | June 27, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: toofache32 | June 30, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.