Medicare Regulations Surpass U. S. Tax Code

Dr Robert Hrisak head shot

My daughter’s only piece of advice on writing a blog was “keep it positive.”  That’s not an easy task when I just spent the past few weeks working on my tax returns.  The complexity of the federal tax code never ceases to amaze me.  Even with help, it took hours to complete my tax returns.

I was reading the results of a survey of physicians conducted on behalf of The Physicians Foundation by Merritt Hawkins in 2012.  On page 26, they noted that the U. S. tax code runs to some 75,000 pages.  The scary thing is that the Medicare regulations are over 130,000 pages.  Eighty-four percent of the physicians who completed the survey thought the profession was in decline and the number one reason was “too much regulation/paperwork.”  Other factors were “loss of clinical autonomy,” “physicians not compensated for quality,” and “erosion of the physician/patient relationship.”  Mr. Hawkins continues:  “Though paperwork and bureaucracy are present in many working environments, there is no disputing that medicine is one of the most highly regulated of all professions, and that physicians must adhere to a vast array of laws and requirements imposed by the government and third party payers.”  Unfortunately, it appears that the Affordable Care Act is only going to add to the regulatory burden on healthcare providers (and patients).

What’s the solution?  Health Savings Accounts present an appealing alternative to government-run healthcare in that patients are empowered to make decisions about their own healthcare in consultation with their doctors.

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