Is this the “bottom line” for doctors?

“…a capitalist is a fellow who, by definition, can ill afford to believe in anything other than the doctrine of the bottom line.”  Lewis H. Lapham

We are looking at real and honest-to-God MASSIVE cuts in our reimbursements over the next few years. I am a modestly political person, and I have relatively strong opinions, but this is approaching inevitability. Regardless of your political leaning, I think you can see this coming.  It doesn’t matter if you’re democrat, republican, libertarian, or whig in tendency, you all know that the dollars are not there, and we are in for some chopping. And if a politician tells you that you will do better with their system, or their party, so, hey, vote for me!, I would ask you to remember a simple fact – you can tell if they are lying to you by making a simple observation. Are their lips moving? If so, there’s your answer. They are lying. 

So, we make less and less. Here is where I’m going with that. Is there a bottom line? At what point will you say, "enough is enough." "I’m moving to the country and taking up fishing to feed my family.” If you were going to make $15 for reading a head CT, would you quit? $4 for a chest film? $1 for an US? Do you see yourself and your contribution to patient management as a $75K job? I would imagine that most of you have thought about this, and it is certainly moving that way. I think this is a pragmatic discussion to engage in. We are approaching a point where we will not be able to keep those machines working. Any bright solutions out there?

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