Uncompensated and undercompensated care provided by San Francisco Medical Society physicians.


Practicing physician members of the San Francisco Medical Society were surveyed regarding reimbursement rates for medical care provided to underinsured and uninsured patients. Of 394 respondents, about $51,000 per physician practice was written off as uncompensated care or services not billed for in 1985. An average of 7% of each physician's patients was estimated to be "no-pay" or charity patients, accounting for $19,000 of this total. Almost $32,000 was reported as being uncompensated care, or that which is billed but not paid. In addition to these amounts, an average of $32,000 was reported as being discounted from the usual fee levels by government insurance programs. Extrapolating these results to the physician membership of the local medical society indicates that physicians in San Francisco may be providing as much as $81 million in uncompensated or charity care annually. These results emphasize that private practitioners are providing a significant amount of medical care at reduced or charity rates, an amount that can be expected to increase given present trends. Substantial changes are needed if the burden of providing medical care to poor and uninsured Americans is not to fall disproportionately on private providers.

Documentos Relacionados