Study: Doctors Paid More for Multiple Procedures Than for Multiple Patients

Highly-paid doctors make more money ordering multiple procedures for individual patients than they earn seeing multiple patients, suggesting payment reform under the Affordable Care Act has yet to be realized.

Highly-paid doctors make more money ordering multiple procedures for individual patients than they earn seeing multiple patients, according to a study released Monday by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), department of urology, and the Veterans’ Health Administration.

The findings, described as “very surprising” by UCLA researchers, suggest the payment reform many expected under the Affordable Care Act has yet to be realized.

“These data indicate that higher-earning physicians earn more not by treating more patients but by offering more services per beneficiary. The relationship between these additional services and any meaningful improvement in outcomes is undefined,” according to the report. “The goals of payment reform are currently unrealized, as evidenced in these data.”

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