Should Doctors Bill Like Lawyers???

Yeah, they probably should. Check this out. What you will see is a very well-reasoned argument that the billing approach taken by lawyers is a heck of a lot more rational than the approach that physicians are stuck with.

Actually, the point is so obvious it is almost comical. Primary Care Physicians face a couple of dozen 20 minute “meetings” every day. They never know what a patient is going to walk in wanting, or how long it will take to respond to those desires. What lawyer would put up with that uncertainty?

AND. For every billable hour a physician spends seeing patients, it is estimated that she spends another two unbillable hours on the computer doing follow up. Nonsense, an attorney would say. I bill my time in 10-minute blocks. I turn on the timer when I start working on your matter, and I turn off the timer when I stop. You get billed for everything in between. Period.

Anyway, you get the point. Physicians and lawyers are, as this article makes graphically clear, about as divergent in billing practices as they could possibly be. While the former profession engages in a billing crap shoot, with externalities like patient satisfaction and outcomes now being thrown in to boot, lawyers simply bill for their dispensing of professional time. No satisfaction measures, no outcomes evaluations. The more time they charge a client for, the more money they make. 

Bottom Line. When you think about doctors’ billing systems this way, they are really nuts. Even the guys that work on our cars at dealerships are billing their hourly rate for the time they spend working for us.

Why aren’t doctors allowed to bill the same way as lawyers and mechanics? Why indeed!!!

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