"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Monday, March 5, 2012

Who is to Blame for America's High Healthcare Costs?

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post blames high prices charged by healthcare providers and hospitals for spiraling costs in America's healthcare system in an article titled Why an MRI costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France.

According to Klein...
"Two of the five most profitable industries in the United States — the pharmaceuticals industry and the medical device industry — sell health care.  
With margins of almost 20 percent, they beat out even the financial sector for sheer profitability.  
The players sitting across the table from them — the health insurers — are not so profitable.  
In 2009, their profit margins were a mere 2.2 percent.  
That’s a signal that the sellers have the upper hand over the buyers."
However, health insurers are also doing pretty well.

According to the Boston Globe, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts made $136.1 million dollars in 2011 which was TEN TIMES more profit than they made in 2010!

Here is the breakdown of CEO compensation for the four largest health insurance companies in Massachusetts:
  • Blue Cross CEO Andrew Dreyfus received $874,000, up from $800,000 in 2010.
  • Tufts CEO James Roosevelt Jr. received $1.7 million, up from $1.2 million in 2010.
  • Harvard Pilgrim CEO Eric Schultz received $1.2 million, up from $795,000 in 2010.
  • Fallon CEO W. Patrick Hughes, received $810,000, up from $649,000 in 2010.
According to Harvard CEO Eric Schultz in the Boston Business Journal:
A continuing decline in consumer demand for medical services... had a positive impact on our financial performance.”
So, if I follow the logic - Americans pay health insurance premiums but then they can't afford to obtain medical services (perhaps because co-payments are SO high?) and that's the fault of the the medical provider?

Free Tutorial

Get free stuff at BulletproofPT.com

Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

"Make Decisions like Doctors"

Copyright 2007-2010 by Tim Richardson, PT.
No reproduction without authorization.

Share PTD with your Peers!

American Physical Therapy Association

American Physical Therapy Association
Consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association supports exclusive physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.