Plastic surgery is not always as glamorous as you see on television. Part of my practice has been the repair of wounds. Recently a wound care hospital at which I have seen patients called asking if I would see a patient. The patient’s HMO pays at Medi-Cal rates. For those of you who don’t know, Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program.
Medi-Cal rates amount to about half of Medicare rates which is essentially nothing. The practice barely squeaks through any profit on most Medicare business. I am always conflicted as to whether or not to see such a patient.
On one hand, I’d like to be of help. On the other hand, starting a trend at which doctors care for patients at less than overhead is part of what brought us to where we are today.
John Di Saia MD
Originally posted 2011-04-27 07:30:57.