The average amount spent per doctor each year on health information technology (HIT) by physician-owned multispecialty practices is $9405 for IT staff and $23,187 for equipment, hardware, and upkeep. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) reported a 40% increase in IT costs from 2009 to 2016. Physicians are penalized with payment reductions for not maintaining the government mandated technology infrastructure. “You’ve got to have the bells and whistles, and those don’t come cheap,” described Rob Tennant, MA, MGMA’s HIT Policy director.
The snippet above is from the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom e-Newsletter. It highlights the fact that the overhead expenses to run a doctor’s office have skyrocketed under Obamacare and other legislation forcing doctors to use government approved, hackable, and horribly user unfriendly computerized electronic medical record systems, or face penalties.
The systems are expensive, but the government payments for using them don’t come close to paying for their costs. Since they can’t charge more per visit to defray the cost, doctors must see ever increasing numbers of patients per day in order to generate the revenue to keep the machine going.
It is no wonder doctors on this hamster wheel are burnt out. They are selling their practices to join big box clinics, retiring, or just quitting medicine. Sadly, many commit suicide.
Happily, we got off said hamster wheel. We ditched the electronic medical record, as well as eliminated the government and commercial insurance companies that demand all your private information. It is our hope that most doctors will. They will be happier, and so will their patients.
Michael A. Ciampi, M.D.