WBOC Talks with Highest Reimbursed Docs in Lower Del. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

WBOC Talks with Highest Reimbursed Docs in Lower Del.

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LEWES, Del. (WBOC)- The federal government recently published the 2012 Medicare reimbursement records for almost 900,000 doctors nationwide. It was the first time that had happened in three decades.

WBOC pieced through the data and found the two doctors, who took in the most in reimbursements in both Kent and Sussex counties. Both men had similar explanations for why their reimbursement amounts were so high.

Dr. Jose Pando has a rheumatology practice in Lewes. The practice got $2.1 million from medicare in 2012. Pando says most of that money covered the relatively new, very expensive drugs his office uses.

"We buy the medication at a very high price," he said. "We give it to the patient and then get reimbursed for the cost with a minimal margin of profit."

Pando says that margin is usually about four percent, which mainly paid for his staff's time. 

Dr. Bob Moyer in Dover is also a rheumatologist. He points to drug costs as well. His practice got $1.5 million in reimbursement in 2012. Moyer says about $1.3 million of that covered drug costs and was not profit. 

If there was theme in the data, it was that specialists get the most reimbursement. Three kinds of doctors showed up again and again, rheumatologists (joints), ophthalmologists (eyes) and cardiologists (heart)

Pando says that makes sense, because Medicare is for people 65 and older.

"Unfortunately, as we age, we tend to have some medical problems - the heart, the eyes, the joints. Those are the numbers you see reflected in the Medicare report."

Pando adds a lot of people retire to the beach areas of Delmarva, which he says increases his total number of patients. That increases the practice's Medicare reimbursement total, too.

Both doctors say transparency in the Medicare system is important. That was a big part of why these numbers were released in the first place. But they both stressed the importance of viewing the numbers in context.
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