Doctors, dentists adjusting to ups and downs of changing U.S. health care system

Several news outlets covered trends in the industry - including how dentists who treat Medicaid patients are coping. 

Kaiser Health News: With Medical Debts Rising, Doctors Are More Aggressive About Payments
The recent economic downturn and the increasing use of high-deductible insurance plans "has driven patients to want to put off paying their bills," Michael explains. Whether it's for a hip replacement or a broken bone, he frequently sees patients on the hook for a $3,000 to $5,000 deductible (Gold, 4/25).

Marketplace: Doctors Can Learn A Lot From Dentists
Have dentists struck gold? Not in the mouths of their patients, but in of all places, in Medicaid, a program infamous for its low reimbursement rates. In a National Bureau of Economic Research report, University of Michigan business professor Tom Buchmueller found that in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act dentists saw about a 7 percent rise in income. And he says some also avoided increased patient wait times (Gorenstein, 4/25).

Marketplace: Using Data To Treat The Sickest And Most Expensive Patients
Here's what you need to know about Dr. Jeffrey Brenner: He really likes to figure out how things work. And he's willing to go to extremes to do it ...  Perhaps it's not the smartest move from a guy who just last fall was named a MacArthur Genius, but this month, Brenner began to test his theory for treating some of the sickest and most expensive patients. "We can actually take the sickest and most complicated patients, go to their bedside, go to their home, go with them to their appointments and help them for about 90 days and dramatically improve outcomes and reduce cost," he says (Gorenstein, 4/24).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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