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Analysis of services received under Medicare by specialty of physician.
First Author
Pine, Penelope L
Date of Pub
1981 Sep
Other Authors
Gornick, Marian; Lubitz, James; Newton, Marilyn
This paper examines use of physicians' services by Medicare beneficiaries according to the specialty of the physician providing care. The major objectives of this study were to determine which types of physicians are most frequently used, the average charge per service by specialty, the mix of physicians (by specialty) that patients saw during the year, and the amount Medicare reimburses in relation to total physician income. Data were studied for the total Medicare population and by age, sex, race, and geographic area. Claims data for 1975 and 1977 were used from the Part B Bill Summary System. This system collects information from bills from a 5 percent sample of Medicare enrollees. Major findings from this study indicate: (1) Physicians in general practice and internal medicine provided about the same number of services and each far outranked all other types of physicians in numbers of Medicare beneficiaries with reimbursed services. (2) There were marked differences by census region in the use of certain specialists, particularly pathologists, podiatrists, dermatologists, and the specialty group otology, laryngology, rhinology. (3) Average charges per service varied considerably by specialty. Internists' charges averaged 35 percent higher per service than charges by general practitioners. Charges submitted by the surgical specialties far outranked all others and showed the greatest increase during the period under study. (4) Of the total persons with reimbursement
Abstract Continued
physicians' services in 1977, 85 percent saw a primary care physician during the year, while the remaining 15 percent received services from specialists only. (5) Of the total reimbursements made by Medicare, internists received 20 percent, general practitioners received 14 percent, and general surgeons 12 percent. Medicare's payments were estimated to be 21 percent of total gross income for internists, 20 percent for anesthesiologists, and 18 percent for surgical specialties.
Insurance, Health, Reimbursement : Insurance, Physician Services/economics : Medicare/utilization : Specialties, Medical/economics : United States
NTIS Number