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The Demise of Pro Bono Medical Care?

[By Staff Writers]

biz-book3A survey some years back suggested that more than 40% of the country’s doctors are doing less pro-bono work due to managed care, and the resulting decrease in personal income.  

To combat this unintended economic phenomenon today, the organization Volunteers in Healthcare – now with the American Academy of Family Physicians – offers a free information patient record system to track the medical care given to the uninsured.

The system allows you to track and store information on patients, visits, providers, clinics, referrals and more.  It is guide-driven with sample reports that can be reconstituted to provide summary statistics on patients and providers. 


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8 Responses

  1. We are Not Surprised at All!

    Full-time physicians spend an average of one full day a week providing services for patients that are not reimbursed by Medicare, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    Researchers said the services that are going un-reimbursed are not unusual or luxury services, but are basic elements of good patient care and include such things as talking with adult children, managing pain over the telephone, calling pharmacies, coordinating home care services like physical therapy and visiting nurses, and ordering equipment like canes and wheelchairs.

    The average episode of non-reimbursed care lasted just 10 minutes, but they happened often enough to add up to 7.8 hours every week.

    Researchers contended that the study results could potentially prod insurance companies and Medicare to catch up to physicians’ current levels of productivity by reimbursing them for the care that is increasingly taking place outside of formal office visits.

    Now, we ask, is anyone surprised?
    How about you?

    -Richard and Hope


  2. Institutional Pro-Bono Medical Care Takes A Fall!

    Did you know that a new study suggests that with the economy still limping, charitable giving is likely to fall off this year?

    Yep, it’s true according to Ann Zieger of Fierce Health Finance on January 7, 2009. About half of non-profit hospitals and healthcare institutions expect to see a slowdown in giving, averaging about 17 percent overall, according to the survey from the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy.



  3. Hope and Richard,

    Can anyone tell me if there are any practicing doctors that will provide primary medical care on a pro-bono basis; and where they are located?

    This information is greatly appreciated. Many thanks for your assistance in this matter.



  4. As much as 31 percent of medical practice patient revenue written off to bad debt expense [BDE] and sent to collection agencies should be classified as charity, according to a study conducted by Connance, Inc. and PARO Decision Support, LLC.

    Link: http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/study-31-percent-patient-bad-debt-misclassified-should-be-charity

    Submitted by:
    Ann Miller; RN, MHA


  5. Hello Don,

    You might want to visit this site for more info on pro bono medical care:

    Good Luck.
    John Mayer


  6. More on Non-Profits

    See what’s happening in Maynardville, Tenn.
    Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34633188/ns/health-health_care

    Nonprofit offers no-charge care to uninsured and underinsured during a weekend
    lesson on free health care.



  7. Is pro-bono care the same as Obama Care?


  8. Charitable giving for U.S. healthcare plunged 11 percent in 2009

    Charitable giving for U.S. healthcare plunged 11 percent in 2009, compared with a 5 percent boost in Canada, according to the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy.




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