21

Name of Drama:  21
Protagonist:  Dr. Rob and a cast of thousands of physicians (Kiefer Sutherland wouldn\’t work for such small payment)

Villain:  Evil SGR conspiracy to cut Medicare by 21% across the board.

Victim: The elderly population depending on Medicare for payment of their care

Plot:  A follow-up of the popular drama \”Lost\” where members of congress were stranded in Washington DC with the task of reforming healthcare without any contact or communication from doctors and patients.  This new drama \”21\” tells the tragic tale of an industry under siege and a population facing possible disaster.

Already stretched to the limit by the paltry reimbursement from Medicare for primary care office-visits, Dr. Rob and his band of physicians is hit by the evil conspiracy of SGR.  SGR is a secret society whose goal is to harm the elderly people in the country by driving away all people willing to give them care.  The congress, tired out from haggling over the health care reform bill, allows evil SGR to exert its power in the name of \”fiscal responsibility.\”

Within a short period of time around the (appropriately) April 1st reimbursement drop, thousands of physicians stop accepting new Medicare patients and consider dropping the plan altogether.  Medicare patients are left to fend for their own care without anywhere to go to get it.  Dr. Rob runs down the hall yelling something on every episode – solely for dramatic effect – although he does uncover an crop-dusting cartel that plans on world domination by dropping fliers for a cut-rate insurance scam.

Will congress see the ruin of Medicare before it\’s too late?  Will any primary care physicians be able to afford to care for Medicare patients?  Will dentists and veterinarians be called to emergency duty with the sudden loss of primary care?  Will Oprah\’s llama adoption ever go through?

Tune in and find out.

7 thoughts on “21”

  1. “…members of congress were stranded in Washington DC with the task of reforming healthcare without any contact or communication from doctors and patients. “

    So how is it, do you suppose, that during fourteen months of flopping around, not one congressperson got one visit from a doctor or a patient? Don't they teach geography at medical school? Or was it just easier to howl at them from a distance?

  2. Dr. Rob, you are getting SO good at Photoshop. Keifer looks awesome.

    What was the question again? I'm distractible these days too. 🙁

  3. This is why I am NOT in favor of government run healthcare. Despite being a flaming liberal. I did insurance claims for counseling/therapy patients when I owned a small practice with my now-ex husband. And yes, we went totally bankrupt and out of business, partly due to the pathetic reimbursement of Medicare and Medicaid and the 10 zillion hoops to jump thru. Oh, and btw, most Medicare patients don't even know that counseling is only covered at 50%, unlike medical coverage of 80%. And the Medicaid payment to us literally was not enough to cover our overhead…every Medicaid patient was seen at a loss. (and over 50% of our patients were on Medicaid). it sucks, plain and simple.

  4. If there is one group of physicians I pity more than primary care, its the psychiatrists. They truly are shafted at every opportunity.

  5. Well Dr. Rob, I do not like the fact that my primary care physician allows me minutes of his time then bolts out the door before I receive my customer satisfaction. It seems to me healthcare reform is long overdue. Don't get me wrong, I sympathize with your plight, but I not happy with mine either. By the way, I'm a teacher. Talk about a profession that does not get paid enough by the government.

  6. I suggest that cutting back on the pay of your PCP by 21% will, if anything, decrease the amount of time he/she spends, not increase. Primary care is so tight in its margins that most docs make their revenue through volume, not quality. This pay cut will make the problem worse, not better.

    What would happen if they did the opposite and raised pay by 21% (which they'd never do), while still cutting or maintaining specialist pay? 1. More docs would choose primary care, 2. Medicare patients would have plenty of PCPs to choose from, so competition would be better, 3. Specialists would start thinking about primary care rather than just doing procedures. It the big picture, such a move would probably improve service, increase availability, and potentially even save money (with less specialists motivated to do procedures). You get what you pay for.

    But you already know that as a teacher.

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