Doctors experience rush on procedures before Obamacare begins - CBS46 News

Doctors experience rush on medical procedures before Obamacare begins

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Dr. Jeff Gallups meets with patients Dr. Jeff Gallups meets with patients

The New Year is less than a week away and that has prompted a rush on medical procedures. Many of you want to get procedures done now because of the uncertainty of the new affordable healthcare law.

Dr. Jeff Gallups checks his busy schedule often this time of year. He's seen more than a 100 percent increase in patient procedures this month at the ear, nose and throat institute in metro Atlanta.

"So we're not only seeing the increase in surgical procedures because it's the end of the year and deductibles are ending, but we also see it because people aren't sure if they're going to have an insurance policy that will cover the procedure in the year to come," Gallups said.

Gallups said there's a rush on medical procedures with high-deductible healthcare plans looming in the coming year and the uncertainty with Obamacare.

"Patients are telling us nowadays that the uncertainty is driving them to make decisions based on what they know because there is so much uncertainty next year," Gallups said.

So what type of procedures are patients having done?

"Kids needing tonsillectomies or having ear infections and needing ear tubes, adults can't breathe, they snore, they're having reflux," Gallups said.

One of those patients trying to get in before the end of the year is Kimberly Foxworth.

"I have just under $1,000 in my flexible spending account and I need to use those funds by the end of the year or they're forfeited, and I have called several doctor's offices trying to get in and they have all been booked, Patient Kimberly Foxworth said.

Gallups said his office is pretty much booked with surgery with less than a week before the new healthcare law takes effect Jan. 1.

"I'm a patient advocate and my concern for the patients is that they're going to be more responsible than ever for their out of pocket costs. Right now, the bronze plan you have a deductible of over $6,000 that has to be paid first, and then you're going to pay 40 percent of all allowable charges," Gallups said.

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