Payment for routine office visits varies substantially

September 18, 2013
Payment for routine office visits varies substantially
There is substantial variation in private insurance payment to physicians for routine office visits, according to research published in the September issue of Health Affairs.

(HealthDay)—There is substantial variation in private insurance payment to physicians for routine office visits, according to research published in the September issue of Health Affairs.

Laurence Baker, Ph.D., from Stanford University in California, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed 40 million for routine office visits, consultations, and preventive visits in 2007, to determine variations in private payments to physicians and the extent to which these variations are explained by patients' and physicians' characteristics and by geographic region.

The researchers found much variation in payments for routine evaluation and management services, with physicians at the high end of the payment distribution being paid more than twice what physicians at the low end were paid for the same service. Patients' age or sex, physicians' specialty, place of service, whether the physician was a "network provider," or type of plan explained little variation. Approximately one-third of the variation was associated with the geographic area of the practice.

"Interventions that promote more price-consciousness on the part of patients could help reduce , but more data on the specific causes of price variation are needed to determine appropriate policy responses," the authors write.

Explore further: Differences in care for e-visits, office visits for sinusitis, UTI

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Geographic value index may not produce efficient care

April 4, 2013

(HealthDay)—A geographically based value index to set Medicare reimbursements may not take into account differences in health care decision-making by individual practitioners or organizations, according to an interim report ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria in smokeless tobacco products may be a health concern

August 26, 2016

Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 26 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American ...

Is tailgating toxic?

August 26, 2016

While tailgating this football season you may want to take a step back from the grill and generator—for your health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.