Saturday, November 23, 2013

Prescription Dollars Wasted By 913 Doctors

This kind of thing really pisses ticks me off. Everyone in the country is trying to do their part to help reduce medical spending. Most people really do try. Patients get generics, are taking better care of themselves, doctors think about costs when suggesting treatments, hospitals are trying to manage their costs in many ways, insurance companies are managing and lowering their overhead costs.

Then we have a bunch of 913 loser doctors who prescribed name brand drugs without allowing for substitution by generic. Now I realize that some people need the name brand drugs  because the generics are not the same for them. But some investigative journalism was done and found out about these losers.

A small portion of doctors nationwide is costing American taxpayers big time because of their tendency to prescribe name-brand medications through Medicare even when generics are available, according to an analysis by ProPublica, a nonprofit organization producing "investigative journalism in the public interest."

The biggest offenders are 913 practitioners who, thanks to disproportionately prescribing name-brand drugs, cost taxpayers an extra $300 million in 2011, say ProPublica's Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber and Jennifer LaFleur. Each of these doctors wrote at least 5,000 prescriptions that year, according to the report.

$300 million a year is not chump change. And these doctors had ties to pharmaceutical manufacturers. So if you multiply 913 doctors times 5000 prescriptions (pause while I find a calculator because my brain is not that smart 5*3=15, carry the 1, 5*1 is 5 plus 1 equals 6, 5*9=45) equals 4,565,000 prescriptions each year. 

And think of that year after year. $300 million and 4.5 million prescriptions times kickbacks which send them on fancy vacations and secret accounts in the Caymans at the expense of the American taxpayer through Medicare. Now you understand while I call them losers.

I am glad about this piece of investigative reporting. I hope those losers now get fined, lose their medical licenses and have to start paying back. I also hope Medicare fixes the loophole.

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