A Look At Where Medicare Money Goes

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New data released on how much physicians are paid by Medicare shows that the program paid a small group of doctors a large portion of the money paid to doctors.

According to the New York Times, about 2 percent of doctors account for $15 billion in Medicare payments, about a quarter of the total. Bloomberg's Shannon Pettypiece joins Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson with details on the new data.

So what's a consumer to do with this information? Should you look up your doctor? If so, what will you learn? Public policy researcher Don Taylor says researchers will be parsing the numbers to see.

Taylor says most people think "it's someone else" who is getting over treatment through Medicare, and don't consider their own spending.

He hopes that apart from outliers perpetrating fraud on the system, patients can learn where money is being overspent on treatments, for example in intensive care units instead of hospice facilities, so they can make better choices.


This segment aired on April 9, 2014.


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