I had an interesting visit with the husband of my niece last evening. He works as an ER doctor that is self-insured group of 60 physicians that cover the ER needs of four hospitals in Clark County near Las Vegas.
What is interesting is they are self-insured to save costs. As a group, then, they know how much per patient they must collect to assure liability care for every patient that comes to their emergency rooms.
That amount is $17 per patient per visit.
Guess how much their group receives for care they render to a Medicaid patient for a "level two" visit (minor problem: ear ache, sore throat, etc.)
Fourteen dollars per visit.
(Note: Medicare level two patients pay considerably better (about four times as much)).
When liability costs exceed the payments received for the care provided to those most in need, it's interesting that our legal and political forces in Washington see no need for liability reform as part of our larger health care reform efforts underway.