BY: Dr. Elaina George, Host & Contributing Health Editor
PUBLISHED: April 08, 2016
Is it Fraud to Treat a Patient for Free?The Affordable Care Act has affected doctor practices in different ways. Many private practices noticed after ACA their businesses shrinking due to the rise in deductibles and premiums. When this happens patients stop coming when they can’t afford insurance. So doctors are left with a couple of choices, sell their practice to a corporation or close their practices and work in rural communities and contract to emergency rooms.
Dr. Lisa Norberg joins the show to discuss her experiences closing her practice. Leaving the relationships she had built with her patients have been devastating but she has turned a corner and is working for a great company that sends her to rural communities. This company is focused on bringing care to areas that don’t have hospitals.
The access to specialized equipment at times can be spotty. It takes great coordination to be able to offer the proper techniques and quality care to the patients in rural communities. Many times some of the equipment just isn’t available and the patient has to go without.
Dr. Norberg points out the difference between coverage and care. So many people aren’t being covered because they can’t afford it or don’t know how to navigate the system. Doctors are in a bad spot here because if they try of offer free help they can be prosecuted for fraud. This is setup to make the government the hero and doctors look bad. This is terrible for patients who don’t have the money and doctors would be happy to treat them.
You can follow Dr. George on Twitter @MedicineOnCall.