Tag: Bankruptcy

Doctors Going Broke

According to an article in CNN, some doctors in the U.S. are going broke. Read it here . I feel sorry for anyone who goes broke, but this is not unexpected.

According to the author, some doctors have unsustainable debt and are facing reimbursement reductions by insurers. A good question is why the unsustainable debt?  After all, many of our institutions have become bloated and can’t adapt to the economic downturn.

The article mentions a cardiologist who is going broke. According to a StudentDoc survey, the average cardiologist makes $403,000 per year. The average cardiovascular surgeon makes $558,719 per year. That’s not bad in either case.

My point is a lot of very highly paid people in every walk of life end up in bankruptcy. No matter how much you make, you can always spend more.  I believe the health care industry has been as guilty of over-optimism as the real estate and finance sectors.

People have been saying for years that many clinics and hospitals will face a solvency crisis brought on by excessive borrowing to fund sleek new facilities and excessive purchases of uber-costly medical equipment. Some doctors became wealthy during the good years, and some of them made purchases not easily retracted now that the economy has turned down.

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Is the Foreclosure Crisis Making People Sick?

The housing crisis that precipitated our ongoing recession began with the foreclosure of 15% of US mortgages. There remains substantial disagreement, however, about whether and how public health departments should specifically address health problems experienced by the people who lost their homes in this crisis. While poor housing quality and homelessness have been statistically correlated to illness for many years, some argue that the correlation merely represents the influence of other factors that are common among people with housing insecurity: indebtedness and inability to pay for medical services, unemployment and associated insurance loss, food insecurity, mental illness, substance abuse, or family instability resulting in poor healthcare seeking or inadequate medical adherence.

As a result, it’s not obvious whether having health departments improve housing availability or quality will necessarily improve health conditions among the groups who face foreclosure. If better housing is really directly linked to better health outcomes, then health departments should expect a return on their investment in housing programs for this group. But if the statistical finding is merely secondary to other factors like indebtedness, then the money might be better spent elsewhere, for example in debt repayment programs, or in preventing the type of predatory banking practices that lead to the foreclosures. In this post, we try to answer the question: is the foreclosure crisis making people sick? And if so, what interventions have been shown to work, if any?

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