Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Medicare Oh Medicare

I've written before about the difficulties I'm having with Medicare because I simply wanted to change my address. Medicare has 221 downloadable forms, none of which are change-of-address forms. In order to do this, I needed to fill out a 27-page enrollment form. I did, but was rejected because I didn't also fill out a 5-page form giving Medicare access to deposit funds in my bank account. Oh, but I'm a non-participating provider--- Medicare pays the patient, not me. And, I work in a clinic where they bill Medicare for my work under my name, and I certainly don't want money that belongs to the clinic going to my bank account. There's no upside to them having this information, and much potential for hassles. I filed an appeal, and it was denied. This has been going on for months. I've stopped being aggravated, and I was pleased when one of my patients mentioned she'd gotten a reimbursement check, so who knows how long I will exist, and I may surrender and send them my bank information and hope for the best.

You can read about my prior rantings Here and Here.

So the day of my latest rejection by Medicare, Meg was kind enough to send a link to an article about a Medical Society President (a dermatologist) who opted out of Medicare. The Business Review writes:
Dr. Leah McCormack, who has a dermatology practice in Forest Hills, said in an open letter dated June 30 that “I can no longer bear the shackles of government and insurance company rules, the burdens of their regulations and the fear of their retributions for the paltry reward of their monetary compensation for my services.”

The article goes on:
“I have been in the solo private practice of dermatology for 25 years,” she wrote. “I have tried to practice with the total focus on my patients, but this has become impossible. My staff and I spend an exorbitant amount of time dealing with claim denials, insurance managers, pre-authorization managers and pharmacy benefit managers. There is so much health system managing that there is little time for health care.”

Thanks for the heads up, Buggy!