Physicians (including a former CMS administrator) talk about their experiences with Medicare.
by Richard Peck
Contributing Writer, MedPage Today
This is the last in a four-part series, Medicare at 50, on the history and possible future of Medicare.
Focusing on the historic relationship of Medicare with practicing physicians, this series would not be complete without direct comments from physicians and policy experts familiar with physicians' issues. MedPage Today contacted practicing physicians and policy experts for their opinions on the program's achievements and problems. Some have already been cited elsewhere in these articles, some appear here for the first time:
Brobson Lutz, MD, Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease, New Orleans: "I've been in a partnership in practice since 1978, and we took a real hit with the fee freezes under President Reagan. I understand why they happened -- some specialists were increasing their fees to the stratosphere. Also, for something like back pain, a patient can't leave an orthopedic surgeon's office without studies of all kinds for something we treat all the time, and much less expensively. Physicians who do unnecessary tests have their consciences to live with -- I just won't send patients to them."
- continued at MedPage Today: