Home > Uncategorized > “I’m a Medicare Doc- Here’s What I Make”

“I’m a Medicare Doc- Here’s What I Make”


      Every year, physicans across the United States tremble at the thought of having their medicare/medicaid reimbursements slashed.  However for the first time, the guillotine began to fall on  March 1st.    This deadline came and went without reversing these cuts (there has now been another temporary extension till the end of the month from what I undersand).  If we have come this close to getting the axe, it is only a matter of time before these devastating cuts go through for good.  Check out this must read article from today’s CNNMoney and you will easily see how damaging this situation will be.   Because fixed costs (office rent, payroll, malpractice insurance, medical supplies, etc.) do not decrease in tandem with medicare reimbursement, a 21% drop in Medicare pay means the physician will be losing A LOT MORE.   For example, say a practice nets 500K a year but pays out 350K for overhead costs. That leaves 150K net pay. But with a 21% drop in reimbursement from Medicare (and I am making the valid assumption that private HMO’s will similarly follow these cuts), the gross revenue from your practice is now down to 400K leaving you with a whopping 50K a year in pay!  Good luck paying back your 250K student loan debt on that while working like a racehorse 60 hrs a week not being able to take a vacation!  As you can clearly see, one must magnify every percentage drop in reimbursement many times over to see the damaging end result.

        My advice to any high school student that happens to come across this blog is to THINK TWICE BEFORE GOING DOWN THE LONG ROAD TO BECOMING A PHYSICIAN!  Unless your conviction is as strong as that of Mother Theresa’s and you are willing to take on a vow of poverty, you really should consider doing anything else that you may have the slightest thread of interest in.  If you love art, become an artist.   If you enjoy children, teach kindergarten.  If you like cars, become a mechanic.   Besides, you will probably wind up making the same or even more in these careers down the road without any of the debt.  Medicine has gotten worse for sure but I am outright frightened to see what the landscape will be like in another 10 years.  You see the arrow at the top of this posting?  That is exactly where we continue to be heading with NO RELIEF in sight.  Ask yourself this.  Will tuitions ever decrease?   Will medicare and HMO’s ever increase their reimbursements?   Does the US govt get anything done nowadays to better the lives of their citizens aside from endless quarreling?  No, no, and no….point made, case closed.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Maus
    March 5, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Not that I don’t sympathize, but your dire projections would only hold true if 100% of your putative practice were Medicare patients. Even the lowliest country doc has the proverbial paying patient (even if the fee is a chicken or two). Still, the illusory idea that a professional career in either medicine, or law (I’m a lawyer, but not one of those evil members of the plaintiff’s bar), is the road to comfort and wealth. I’d laugh but it hurts too much.

    • medicinesux
      March 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm

      keep in mind that HMO’s will soon follow Medicare’s lead in cutting rates.

  2. Funyon
    March 9, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Gee $250000 loans, $50,000 per year. Sounds like you are heading towards the life of a veterinarian. (so… I would second your advice to the high school student)

    • medicinesux
      March 9, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      Vets are better off. Pets don’t carry medicare or medicaid nor do they sue you.

  3. March 10, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Once again, I just can’t understand why we as a society want to churn out such heavily debt burdened doctors. It’s folly!

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