KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Doctors Can Be Frustrated, Confused By Health Care System

Some doctors feel frustrated by insurance paperwork while many recent medical school graduates say they are confused by the structure of the health care system.

CNN reports: "Consumers' frustrations with health insurance paperwork are well-known. But it's also a frustrating tangle for doctors and their staffs." CNN reports on "one innovative practice that has decided to take on the insurance paperwork monster -- by completely avoiding it. Dr. Val Jones joined a small practice, DocTalker Family Medicine in Vienna, Virginia, where the doctors do not even take insurance. They charge a simple, relatively low fee for each service. That's it. The doctors at DocTalker grew tired of seeing patients struggle with baffling insurance paperwork while both their health and wealth were on the line" (10/1).

Meanwhile, NPR's Health Blog reports: "A study of graduating medical students finds that less than half say they have a good sense of how to navigate health care systems or the economics of practicing medicine. ... The new doctors say they feel their medical schools did not prepare them to understand the mind-numbing mess of American health care. Only 40 to 50 percent of medical students, polled between 2003 and 2007, said they felt confident they were leaving medical school with appropriate training in the practice of medicine. The problem with this, of course, is that patients expect their doctors to guide them through the health care system" (Shapiro, 9/30).

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