'Physician payment is always in the crosshairs': How reimbursement rates affect gastroenterologists

The combination of decreased physician reimbursements and increased procedure costs continues to put physician pay in peril. 

Linda Lee, MD, medical director of endoscopy at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, recently connected with Becker's to discuss the challenges gastroenterologists face regarding reimbursement rates for GI procedures.

Note: This response has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Dr. Linda Lee: The biggest challenge gastroenterologists face regarding reimbursement rates is that CMS and insurance companies continue to decrease physician reimbursement for our procedures while costs continue to increase. These include costs of equipment, staffing and other overhead, which of course have been exacerbated by inflation. It makes no sense that physician payment is always in the crosshairs and the one that is sacrificed while insurance companies continue to create greater healthcare costs by. [Insurance companies do this by], for example, mandating needless prior authorizations for procedures and only drive up costs of doing healthcare, and hospitals continue to make similar technical revenue. This does not make mathematical sense, and physicians will not be able to sustain continual cuts to their reimbursement.

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