27th November 2012
I have now posted a notice in my office and each exam room stating exactly what Obamacare will cover for those yearly visits. Remember Obama promised this as a free exam — no co-pay, no deductible, no charge. That’s fine and dandy if you are healthy and have no complaints. However, we are obligated by law to code specifically for the reason of the visit. An annual exam is one specific code; you can not mix this with another code, say, for rectal bleeding. This annual visit covers the exam and “discussion about the status of previously diagnosed stable conditions.” That’s the exact wording under that code — insurance will not cover any new ailment under that code.
So the exam is free, but if they find anything, it’ll cost you.
On top of all of that, doctors will be obligated — that’s right, obligated — to talk to you about things you may have no interest or need to talk about.
You may just want to have a pap smear or check your cholesterol. However, I am now mandated by the government to talk to you about your weight, exercise, family life, smoking, sexual abuse(!), and even to ask if you wear seat belts. And I am mandated to record your answers.
I am a physician. But I need to tell you to wear a seat belt and then record your answer.
Forward into the Future, Comrades!