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.