Doctor’s offices consumed by insurance hassles

Tamara Keith of the public radio program “Marketplace” went into a doctor’s office to find out where the money’s being spent at the point where the rubber meets the road.

Keith found a whole lot of wrangling with insurance companies, wrangling that consumed the time of assistants, physicians and patients alike. The practice Keith looked at was far from unique, she reports: “A recent Cornell study found nationwide it costs doctors $31 billion a year to deal with insurance companies. That’s about 7 percent of all spending on physician and clinical services.”

The story is the first of an occasional series called “The Cure: Remaking Health Care in America.”

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