Yet another study has documented the obvious: that the Medicare fee schedule is heavily weighted to favor procedural services.
Sinsky and Dugdale added to the previous documentation of this institutional bigotry by being sure to capture the other demands on physician time besides the procedure itself. This includes time spent talking to family members, documenting in the medical record, etc.
They found that the Medicare pay for colonoscopies and cataract removals are 368% and 486% higher than a similar-time outpatient moderate complexity visit to a primary care physician. Extrapolating this finding, they calculate that these procedures generate more revenue in 1 to 2 hours than a primary care physician would receive for an entire day’s work.
How much longer will this payment disparity persist? The fact it is still here just boggles my mind.