Bureaucrats, not doctors, are making healthcare so expensive

Source: Bureaucrats, not doctors, are making healthcare so expensive

Republican leadership emerged from their Camp David policy retreat earlier this month announcing that significant healthcare reform is not on their 2018 agenda. That’s bad news for the one-quarter of Americans who put off or postpone getting the healthcare they need each year because of its costs, which have doubled since 2013.To meaningfully address these skyrocketing healthcare costs, bold reforms are needed. Rather than simplistic assertions that blame doctors, legislators must tackle healthcare’s stultifying bureaucracy consisting of federal and state government agencies, big insurance companies, and, yes, the American Medical Association.Consider the reporting requirements that this bureaucracy foists on physicians. Doctors now spend roughly two-thirds of their professional time on paperwork – mostly filling out the never-ending fields that are part of Electronic Medical Records requirements — rather than attending to patients. Because paperwork doesn’t pay, this means patients are essentially spending three times more than they should have to for their doctors’ time. Simply halving doctors’ paperwork could halve physicians’ costs, because they’d have more time for productive, patient-centered work.