This week we all were treated to the sordid details about who rakes in the big bucks from Medicare. Most interesting to me was the list of specialities in the medical profession that pull in the lion's share of reimbursements.
Opthalmologists, at $3.3 million, had the others beat by a long shot. The second highest revenues were in the fields of hematology and oncology, at just over $2 million.
The number one recipient was Dr. Salomon E. Melgen from North Palm Beach Florida, who received $21 million from Medicare in 2012 alone. He comes with a lot of political baggage and investigations of wrongdoing. The first question that occurred to me was, Opthalmology? The ophthalmologists have a many explanations, including the very expensive drug used for macular degeneration.
But right after that I thought, Where are the ear doctors on this list? Nowhere among the 30 top biggest specialities, the top 2 percent, was any specialty having to do with hearing. No otolaryngologists, no ENT's, no otologists, no speech language pathologists.
Hearing loss is more common in the elderly than vision loss. Just as macular degeneration can lead to blindness, hearing loss can lead to deafness. How could these hearing related specialities not make the top 30, even in the aggregate?