Everybody is entitled to health care. It appears that the only way for the government to make it affordable is to cut payment to doctors. Eye care professionals, especially retinologist, have overused the use of OCT and thus created a red flag. OCT is one of our most valuable tools. Our patients understand the images and thus their disease processes. Yet Medicare in turn not only cut the reimbursement for OCT by 38%, but also made it binocular, which means that the provider gets paid the same amount for scanning one or both eyes. Medicare now pays us less than a third for the same amount of work. We are a very small practice and will potentially lose hundreds of dollars per day. How are we supposed to make up for this staggering loss?
We won’t be hiring any new employees any time soon. That would cost us. We won’t be increasing salaries any time soon. That would cost us. We won’t be introducing any new instruments to the practice any time soon. That would cost us. We won’t be increasing our prices as they are dictated by Medicare. We could close our practice to Medicare and Medicaid, but we can not turn our backs on those who need us. So what are we do? The only solution that I see is to increase the number of patients we see each day. How? We can not afford to advertise; and I am not convinced that advertisement would attract retina patients. So we need to think of ways to creatively market the practice. Think, think, think. It will come to me. I just know it!