Ain’t capitalism grand

August 17, 2015

So patients are supposed to be able to receive annual check-ups from their primary care physicians without paying a co-pay.  This has been presented as a relatively recent benefit in a developing health care system moving towards more enlightenment and lower costs.  I think this benefit comes under “preventive care.”  Under Medicare such an appointment is called an annual Wellness Visit, under private insurance, it is labeled something like an annual physical.

But if the patient has a condition or a potential condition for which they are being monitored, the doctor’s office bills it as a Wellness Visit and a Sick Visit, a physical and a routine medical visit.  For the second billing code there is a co-pay.  The “free physical” benefit has disappeared and become bait for having the patient come in for an appointment for which they owe a co-pay.

Capitalism found a way around and through an attempt to shift costs away from the patient.  A check-up is now only for completely well patients, patients with no medical issues.  The definition of a physical seems to have narrowed in order to re-balance the payment scheme back to where it had been before patients were given the free physical benefit.


One Response to “Ain’t capitalism grand”

  1. Matthew Says:

    It’s interesting to me that the willingness to take the reins, to forcefully regulate for the public good, didn’t happen until after the system had failed. Most people tolerate corruption/distortion as long as the trains still generally run on time.

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