I got another threatening letter from an insurance company. I have thirty percent more long visits than my peers. Since I didn't align with what my peers do, they are threatening to audit me. How do you insured folks feel about your insurance company pressuring your Family Physician to do less (or at least to code at a lower cost to them)? With all the guidelines and other quality initiatives inflicted on Family Physicians in recent years, one should only expect that the level of service would go up and the charges would go up. But no, they want them to remain the same. Unfortunately, the majority of FP's undercode their visits for a wide variety of reasons. Self esteem is a big one. Training is another one. Afraid of the insurance companies is another one.
I used to think that pressuring a whole group to do the same financial thing with their business was price fixing and would be outlawed by the Federal Trade Commission. I guess that's not true.
Employers have no idea that the physicians caring for their employees are being pressured by the insurance company to do less, allowing their employees to be referred to more subspecialists because the physician held down the level of service at the primary care level and sent it up to the more expensive level. The insurance company is forcing the costs up and driving the premiums up.
What do you think?