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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ugly Numbers

Some Ugly Numbers

- JP Saleeby, MD

Examples of where a state implements a "Mandatory Health Insurance" policy are seeing some ominous signs. Massachusetts is a state that requires its citizens to carry health insurance and the outcome this year is that fewer (less than 44%) of Internists are accepting new patients, down from 58% in 2008. Only 60% of Family Practice physicians are accepting new patients, down from 65% in 2008 and 70% in 2007.

Another critical problem for Massachusetts is that there is a growing physician shortage and it is worsening. Poor reimbursements from government and private insurance companies will make "medicine" less attractive a career for those considering entering medical school thus compounding the problem. Doctors now are working harder than ever for less pay and the demands placed upon them by hospitals, insurance companies, CMS, and the public are becoming intolerable for many. This will be witnessed in other states should no action be taken to reform health care in a positive way, not only from a reimbursement end, but physician autonomy, freedom to practice with fewer restrictions and third party oversight.

Some Ugly numbers:

  • According to recent reports from the US Census Bureau & the Am. Journal of Public Health we see that 46.3 million Americans are uninsured in 2008. This is a rise from the 45.6M in 2007.
  • There has been a drop in the number of Americans with job-based health insurance in the last year from 177.4M to 176.3M.
  • The most recent data (from 2005) of deaths attributed to lack of insurance was 44,840 and that number is expected to climb.

source: Medical Economics Journal 10/2009

- Dr. Saleeby is providing high quality, individualized health care to his patients via "house calls" in a step to reduce overhead and pass savings to his patients. He is currently taking steps that are impacting health care in American in a positive way with sliding-scale fees for those patients who are under-insured or without insurance. Dr. Saleeby advocates Health Insurance with low monthly premiums (higher annual deductible) that is affordable for catastrophic events, and a health savings account (HSA) / medical saving account (MSA) for routine medical and preventive care. For more information on the practice visit:

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