Medicare Database Reveals Top-Paid Doctors

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Serdar Tumgoren, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million. Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama administration, part of a move to open the books on health care financing. Topping Medicare’s list was Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, whose relationship with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), made headlines last year …

How a Secretive Panel of Doctors Helps Set Health Care Costs

A Washington Post story by investigative reporters Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating has drawn plenty of attention to a little-known committee of doctors that establishes values for each medical procedure, which in turn affects how much Medicare and private insurers pay for them. The American Medical Association committee meets once a year behind closed doors to determine the time and intensity of most of the procedures and services a doctor performs – like colonoscopies (75 minutes of a doctor’s time, …

If You’re Fat, Does It Mean You’re Ill? (Yes, Says AMA)

One in three American adults is obese, and the American Medical Association (AMA) believes the medical community needs to do more to help fight this problem. Th AMA’s solution is to declare obesity a disease. The nation’s largest physician organization said this week that “recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue.” It could have a greater impact on how insurance companies deal with the problem and what additional treatments they …

AMA: We Must Keep Bureaucrats Out of Health Care

From the mouth of the American Medical Association – Dr. James Rohack talks about protecting patient-doctor relationships.