Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Mayo Clinic in Arizona drops some Medicare patients: a coming trend?


David Olmos has an alarming story in Bloomberg “Mayo Clinic in Arizona to Stop Treating Some Medicare Patients”, link here. The Washington Examiner ran the story Sunday January 3 on p 10 with the title “Mayo move to ditch Medicare spells trouble for government insurance: Other docs may copy touted clinic’s rejection”. The facility is a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, AZ. Doctors say that the government pays about 20% less than normal private insurance plans for the same procedure. But it all sounds a bit greedy.

The report is a bit confusing because even in the employer-based private market before Obamacare reform, the discounts negotiated by major employers with major health insurance companies (like United Health Care) are huge. At the Virginia Hospital Clinic, the list price for an oral cat scan is $1700; the “insured” price is $370. It’s similar with body work and auto insurance.

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Gonda Building at Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN

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