Efficiency isn't driving more patient visits -- paying overhead is
LETTER — Posted April 18, 2005
Regarding "Battle begins in Congress over Medicare pay cut" (Article, Feb. 28): I read with amazement the statement by Rep. Pete Stark (D, Calif.) as quoted in AMNews. I find it perverse that someone would call me "more efficient" when I need to work longer hours to see more patients to cover my growing overhead, not to mention the time consumed by the extra documentation required by Medicare.
The time required to see a patient cannot be "shaved" by any technological gadget, so it should be obvious to the congressman that more services provided translates into more time spent. This is not assembly-line automation.
Ely Robert Tandeter, MD, Chicago
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/04/18/edlt0418.htm.