Wednesday's news that Medicare is making public Part B payments to doctors received mixed reviews. That's to be expected when healthcare's economic black box is pried open.
Sadly, one doctor's full scope of competent and caring services may result in unusually high reimbursement compared to his or her peers. And just as easily, one doctor's modest billings to Medicare could contain a disproportionate share of fraud.
Publishing the numbers doctor by doctor doesn't tell the complete story; it's not holistic because it focuses on only one area of medicine, Medicare Part B. But it's a start.
It does make me wonder, though: What if doctors' offices posted their "office visit" rates the way gas stations display their prices? Wouldn't that be something?
As a grateful patient of Torrance ophthalmologist Ron Gallemore — and lest any reader draw a negative conclusion from your article's citation of him as one of the top five Medicare Part B billers in California — let me make a few points based on my experiences with him.
First, I have never experienced an office run with such efficiency for such a huge volume of people.
Second, he is a retina-macula expert who gets referrals from other ophthalmologists.
Finally, he does surgical procedures in his office and receives minor compensation from Medicare, considering the true value of his services.