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traditional referral relationships?
Posted By: Eric Eisenberg on May 23, 2012
Dear list, I struck a nerve with my last post regarding the VA, this post will probably do the same. Is the free standing O and P clinic a dinosaur? Are the days of receiving referrals because you provide outstanding service and exemplary clinical care dying? The alarming trend which I am referring to is either paying physicians for referrals or working for the physicians. It seems doctors want to refer patients to situations in which they have a vested financial interest. Free standing O and P will lose out if they are ONLY providing clinical care. I see O and P companies working deals where they "lease" employees to physicians to legalize referral kickbacks,(payment for referrals with out consequence) or orthotists/prosthetists simply going to work in doctors offices so the doctors group can retain all referrals. Is this the trend everywhere? How will the traditional O and P clinic survive? Don't the insurance companies, and medicare understand that these self referral situations increase utilization ultimately increasing health care costs? Can the industry do anything to survive or will O and P be forced into doctors offices. My feeling is going into doctors offices is a short sighted view for companies/practitioners and will ultimately drive down salaries/reimbursement to those working for the doctors. Eric S. Eisenberg M.S.;C.P.O.BioTech Limb and Brace LLC
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