Doctors Going Broke. So What?

Tom Emerick

Posted 1/11/12 on Cracking Health Costs

According to a nearly breathless article in CCN, some doctors in the U.S. are going broke.  Read it here.  I feel sorry for anyone who goes broke, but why all the gnashing of teeth when it happens to a health provider?

According to the author, some doctors have unsustainable debt and are facing reimbursement reductions by insurers.  A good question is whose fault is unsustainable debt?  After all, many of our institutions have become bloated and can’t adapt to the economic downturn.

The article mentions a cardiologist who’s going broke.  According to a StudentDoc survey, the average cardiologist makes $403,000 per year.  The average cardiovascular surgeon makes $558,719 per year.  That’s not bad in either case.

My point is a lot of very highly paid people in every walk of life end up in bankruptcy.  No matter how much you make, you can always spend more.  What’s the big deal when it happens to some doctors today?

People have been saying for years that many clinics and hospitals will face a solvency crisis brought on by excessive borrowing to fund sleek, beautiful, facilities and excessive purchases of uber-costly medical equipment.  Some doctors became wealthy during the good years, and some of them made purchases not easily retracted.

Hospitals have been buying doctors’ practices on borrowed money for years. The ones that paid exorbitant prices are soon going to be hurt badly.  We are seeing the leading edge of that now.  In five years large numbers of hospitals will be looking for bailouts.

About Brian Klepper

Brian Klepper is a health care analyst, commentator and a Principal in Health Value Direct.
This entry was posted in Market Dynamics, Physicians and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Doctors Going Broke. So What?

  1. DoctorSH says:

    In some ways this actually makes sense. But if the Obama administration decides to pick and choose who and what industry to bail out, by picking winners and losers, isn’t that just a little bit ridiculous.
    So by allowing this to happen the Obama administration has decided to allow the medical profession to go under Is that because he wants to take it over in the image that he wants it today.
    The government should not be involved in picking winners and losers in business and industry. The government should set up equal opportunity for all with open and transparent policies and regulations to allow everyone, whether the smallest business or the largest corporation to compete with each other. Unfortunately that is not what has been happening in healthcare over the past 20 to 30 years.
    And that is really a shame.

  2. Amy Colleny says:

    DoctorSH, I’m not sure I follow your connection of Obama to the fact that doctors when the going was good, spent like Rockefeller’s, and now that the economy has taken a turn down are concerned that they are over thier heads?

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