According to CMS, a specific data set was established regarding how much Medicare pays doctors, services from the ambulance, diagnostic labs and so on.
In Florida, where the senior population dominates, there were 27 clinicians out of 100 providers who were best paid by Medical Part B, according to a research by Modern Healthcare. Still, in 2014, clinicians were surpassed by the internists who received a total amount of $9.2 billion.
But the biggest number of beneficiaries belonged to the diagnostic radiologists, who received $3.7 billion. On the other hand, ophthalmologists came second in the top of total payments, with $6.3 billion. But because ophthalmologists use very expensive drugs, the government put aside the money which was used to pay for these drugs, remaining a lower number of $4.2 billion.
According to the CMS study, some of the most expensive drugs (in 2014) were Lucentis and Eylea, both used in treating macular degeneration. Another benefit that comes from the drug sales, besides covering the expenses of medications, is that rheumatologists, oncologists, and ophthalmologists earn a solid income from these sales as they are 6% reimbursed above the average price.
After hearing such high numbers, a controversy has been raised; whether is it fair that drugs and medications are so expensive, and also the fact that their prices continue to increase. This situation has quickly turned into an issue leading not only to angry patients but even worse; it brought the attention of the presidential candidates and the Congress.
Still, even if the physicians are situated (on the data list from CMS) among a total of 986,000 providers, still the payments do not go into the pocket of just one individual. Part of the payments are directed to the business overhead. Therefore, these payments vary depending on what is each physician’s speciality. In this case, radiation oncologists occupy the first position, as Medicare pays them per provider with $352,000 without taking into consideration the drug payments. Vascular surgeons are next with $266,500 and third, ophthalmologists with $240,000 but without the amount of money earned from the drug sales.
This is just a part of the list, more specifically the top, mentioned so that everyone can understand the big picture on how much Medicare pays doctors.
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