Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 23, 2014

Fee irrelevant to doctors’ compensation

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — I enjoy reading letters to the editor in our local newspapers. They comment on items of local as well as national interest, often from opposite viewpoints.

Recently, a letter writer expressed in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph his opinion that fees for each physician’s service be posted in each “provider’s” office. This is a fine idea, and used to be done.  Presently this would be of little relevance, since physician charge has no relationship to the compensation provided by insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. If he wants to be upset at certain physicians, such as ophthalmologists friendly with certain politicians, he should address his concern to the government agency deciding on the reimbursement schedule. My own fee schedule hasn’t changed for some 30 years, but I could legally “charge” $5 or $5,000 willy-nilly for a service and receive exactly the same amount, if any. The same applies to hospital charges, as I recently noticed in reviewing the charge and compensation for a rather minor personal surgical service.

Delegate Will Morefield was roundly scolded in Tazewell County Free Press letters for his disagreement with the Medicare, Affordable Care and Medicaid (welfare) programs. Writers felt that Morefield was negligent in not supporting these programs, seemed to feel that they were efficiently and effectively run, and anyone who says differently is an uninformed liar. Just listen to Majority Leader Reid if you need proof. Or watch CBS’s “Sixty Minutes,” the network that Sharyl Attkisson recently resigned from because they wouldn’t allow anything remotely accurate about the present administrated to be aired. But don’t expose yourself to anything unbiased in print, TV or the Internet. It might upset your constitution to see the original Constitution being destroyed.

Dr. Stephen DeGray

Bluefield, Va.