Healthcare Today with Dr. Michael D. Cragel

By Meredith Ryburn

How is the Affordable Care Act affecting your practice?

Dr. Cragel suggests an overhaul to the entire insurance program. The most crucial issue, by his estimation, is that decisions are being made with little to no medical input. And, worse, those decisions are generally made with financial considerations being the primary concern, not the care of the patient.

The healthcare market has seen several developments since the early “fee for service” days that marked the beginning of his Orgeon practice. The first notable adjustments came when regulations began around how services were to be reimbursed; this change was initiated through the introduction of Health Management Organizations (HMOs), Physician-Hospital Organizations (PHOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs).

From there regulations continued to grow. Today, the doctor explains, “Medicare pretty much dictates how things will be paid, what will be paid and everyone follows suit.”

Although his three-doctor practice stays busy, these changes are forcing Dr. Cragel to reconsider the way his business operates: “We are reaching a point where we can’t run fast enough,” he says. What exactly does he mean? The amount of overhead costs necessary to maintain operations are beginning to exceed the amount of incoming reimbursements. The practice plans to become a hospital run organization. While that means a little loss of the independence that initially drew Dr. Cragel to medical practice, it will allow his practice to continue caring for patients. Those patients, he explains, will not notice much of a difference in their service; it is he and the other physicians who will become hospital physicians in the transition.

Dr. Michael D. Cragel pursued a career in podiatry after being dissuaded from dentistry by his own dentist. Dr. Cragel explains that he first came to Toledo from Detroit while completing his residency, but he made the move permanent in 1982 when he opened his practice — Oregon Family Foot and Ankle. He describes his 33 years of helping patients in the Toledo area as a satisfying experience.

Show your support for local businesses! Call Oregon Family Foot and Ankle at 419-693-4171; visit the website at http://oregonfamilyfoot.homestead.com/; or visit the office at 1050 Isaac Streets Drive, 122 Orgeon, Ohio.