Even doc­tors are be­ing driven out of lux­ury leases

Modern Healthcare - - Outliers -

You know some­thing’s wrong with this coun­try when even a hum­ble doc­tor can’t af­ford to drive his Maserati down to the coun­try club for a restora­tive af­ter­noon out on the links.

Two years ago, ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis by LeaseTrader.com, it was real es­tate agents and ex­ec­u­tives at fi­nan­cial firms who most of­ten were turn­ing in the keys to their pre­mium, high-pow­ered sports cars by claim­ing poverty. Per­haps this was re­lated to the fact that the world­wide fi­nan­cial col­lapse was caused by the com­bined ac­tions of these pro­fes­sion­als in real es­tate and high fi­nance.

But if the fast clip of lux­ury-car lease-end­ings in 2008 was trig­gered by bad karma, Out­liers has to won­der what doc­tors have been do­ing re­cently.

For 2010, LeaseTrader.com re­ports that 54% of doc­tors try­ing to es­cape lux­ury car leases claimed “fi­nan­cial rea­sons” for do­ing so. Has all the re­cent crit­i­cism of se­cret pay­ments from Big Pharma dried up doc­tors’ driv­ing-around money? Are physi­cians pre­par­ing for the worst case if the “doc fix” to Medi­care physi­cian pay­ment for­mu­las does not pass the House this week? In any case, LeaseTrader.com notes in its news re­lease that fi­nan­cial ex­ec­u­tives ap­pear to have re­gained their for­mer lux­u­ri­ous ways, as the num­ber of lease ex­its for fi­nan­cial rea­sons among bankers is only half in 2010 what it was in 2008.

Out­liers would sug­gest that some of those Wall Street ti­tans con­sider buy­ing their old cars back from the doc­tors in­stead of buy­ing new. Af­ter all, who knows if the now-bloom­ing “robo-signer” mort­gage fi­asco will again bring the econ­omy to its knees.

That might not be a physi­cian be­hind the wheel.

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