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How Doctors are Being Charged Simply for Caring for Their Patients

You may not be familiar with every detail of the U.S. tax system, but you likely understand the general idea of a percentage of your income being deducted or taxed to pay for certain benefits or improvements in our society.

In theory, taxes may be the only expense immediately deducted from a paycheck. Unfortunately, doctors are being charged additionally simply for caring for their patients.

Many medical professionals are burdened with paying an extra 1.5% to 5% of their income to have insurers deposit their checks electronically.

While this clearly hurts the doctor, you may not see how it directly affects you, the patient. In fact, this issue impacts your health care nearly as much as it does your provider.

Why Are Doctors Being Charged Extra Fees?

When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services created electronic payment rules in 2012, a new class of industry middlemen emerged, hoping to profit from the transition.

What was originally designed to save the healthcare industry an estimated $3 billion to $4.5 billion over the next ten years ended up directly penalizing doctors.

These middlemen now charge doctors a fee for processing their payments electronically, claiming these costs are equivalent to the fees they charge medical providers. These middlemen pocket them for personal profit.

How Do Processing Fees Affect Doctors?

Payment processing services may argue otherwise, but this fee is often unavoidable for the average physician. According to one survey from 2021, up to 60% of medical practices claimed they were obligated to pay costs to process electronic payments.

Of the 60% of respondents, 43% stated they paid up to 3% fees. This has created a widespread issue where most medical providers must now pay these outside processing services to get compensated themselves.

How Do These Fees Affect Patient Care?

While the additional fee of 3% may not seem significant on paper, doctors everywhere can feel the weight of these transaction costs. With over 2 trillion dollars a year of medical claims paid electronically, physicians are looking for ways to avoid facing these additional costs. As a result, this can lead providers to raise their rates, transferring the cost of providing that care to the patients themselves.

Learn About How the Charges Doctors Face for Simply Caring for Their Patients Impacts You

Medical providers and patients alike suffer from the fees associated with electronic payments. When a medical professional’s negligence causes you harm, contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. Our team of personal injury attorneys could provide you with greater insight today.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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