Laura, I'm like you. I totally agree with what you are saying.
Last week in my conference, the speaker said during another one of her presentations, primary care physicians sat on one side of the room and specialists on the other. The specialists were arguing about how "every time they get a new patient, it is a consult, just because they are specialists"
A primary care physician, stood up in a rage, and stated "Look, in the 15 years that I have been "REFERRING" my patients to you, less than 5% have ever been consults. I don't want your advice or opinion, I know what is wrong with the patient, but I can't treat it so that's why I send them to you, for you to take care of. and those AREN'T CONSULTS. And with that I said, I am sick and tired of receiving your "dictations" that say, "Oh, thank you so much for asking me for my advice and opinion on Mrs. Jones, my opinion is as follows." That's a play on words and you are doing that to get paid and it isn't fair to us primary care physicians who work harder than you "specialists"!!! "
Needless to say, she was NOT a happy camper.... but you know what, I totally agree with her. I definitely feel as if specialists are totally over paid. The primary cares are doing all of the work, treating all of these patient's problems and managing every aspect of it. The specialists treat that "problem" and back to the PCP they go. Primary cares do just as much work -- if not more -- than specialists.
What we have to remember is every physician learned the same fundamentals of medicine -- some of those physicians chose to practice a speciality. I believe it is fair to say, that all physicians have the baseline knowledge of a primary care physician and with that said, backs up the argument that 9 times out of 10, the primary care physician knows exactly what is wrong with the patient -- and they are transfering care to that specialist who can take care of it. End result? No consult!
Taking away the consult codes would do two things, rightfully pay the primary cares and make this a heck of a lot easier for coders.
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