Sunday, September 16, 2007

NY Times Letter - Sending Back the Doctor's Bill

My letter to the New York Times editor.

Dear NY Times:

I was very troubled by the suggestion that physicians "give up some of their autonomy" by moving to a salaried system or that as a whole are overpaid in "Sending Back the Doctor's Bill" (NYT July 29th). The problem is that the current method of payment is flawed. Let me be clear, I don't blame physicians for the way they deliver care. If I was compensated the same way most physicians are, I would expect much of my autonomy to be given up and my clinical judgment clouded as I worried about which tests, diagnoses, and procedures, I needed to do to stay financially solvent rather than what the patient needed done to stay well.

This has already occurred. Our nation is the worst compared to other industrialized nations on three aspects of health care. We have the highest health care cost per capita, we have the worst in health care outcomes, and we have millions uninsured.

Instead of re-inventing the wheel our leaders should look to already successful and proven health care delivery systems and programs which exist in our country and adopt their methods.

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