By Leigh Page
Medscape - Psychiatry
Originally published December 19, 2013
Lower reimbursements, busier practices, and the rise of outcomes-based payments are inciting more physicians to think about cherry-picking -- that is, selecting patients with better payments or fewer health problems. Many physicians admit they do it, although they may feel guilty about it, or they worry that being too aggressive in this realm could harm their practices and standing.
Health insurers have been well known for cherry-picking members, although new regulations have eliminated some of those behaviors. But physicians do some cherry-picking, too, said Jim Bailey, MD, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, who has written about the phenomenon. If you choose a higher-paying specialty or locate your offices in an affluent suburb, cherry-picking can be a factor in keeping your practice profitable, he said.
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