The Medicare data release: Talking with patients

 In News

Last week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released data on the number and type of healthcare services individual physicians and other providers furnished in 2012 under the Medicare Part B fee-for-service program.

While physician concerns about the release of the data are legitimate — in particular, the possibility of misinterpretations and inaccuracies if taken out of context — so too are questions patients may have about how Medicare impacts the healthcare they’re getting and the doctors providing it.

In the span of a 15- or 30-minute office visit with a Medicare patient, it’s hard enough to cover their range of health conditions, concerns, recommendations and follow-up plans.

Even harder is trying to answer probing questions from skeptical, frugal seniors, who sometimes have fairly significant cost-sharing responsibilities under Medicare and want to know why you’re getting paid so much — and by the way, since you are, perhaps you could offer a discount?

For five recommendations for helping patients put things in perspective, read more at the Medical Practice Insider.

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