Benjamin Levy III, MD, a gastroenterologist at University of Chicago Medicine, spoke with Becker’s to discuss how decreased reimbursements are a threat to gastroenterology.
- Significance of Reimbursements: Decreased reimbursements pose a significant threat to the gastroenterology industry. Dr. Benjamin Levy III from the University of Chicago Medicine highlights this as the primary concern for the sector.
- Operational Costs: Gastroenterology practices, endoscopy centers, and hospitals have substantial operational costs. They require a significant number of staff, including nurses, anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), and personnel to handle insurance processes. Any reduction in reimbursements directly impacts the funds available to cover these essential operational costs.
- Efficiency vs. Quality: While healthcare systems and GI practices aim to be as efficient as possible, decreased reimbursements can push some practices to increase patient volume to maintain their revenue. This could potentially lead to reduced time allocated per patient, affecting the quality of care.
- Potential Impact on Patient Care: In scenarios where practices try to accommodate more patients, the time allotted for each patient might get reduced. This can lead to physicians feeling rushed and potentially compromising the quality of patient care. For instance, a consultation time might be reduced from 20 minutes to 15 minutes or from 30 minutes to 25 minutes.
- Patient-Doctor Interaction: Most gastroenterologists prioritize spending adequate time with their patients. However, there’s a risk that certain practices, under financial strain, might try to see more patients daily. It’s essential to note that not all practices would resort to this, but the potential exists.
- Emphasis on Quality Care: Both doctors and patients value quality interactions. Patients appreciate having more time with their doctors, leading to better understanding and care. Therefore, it’s crucial not to create situations where practices feel pressured to reduce patient interaction time due to financial constraints.