Doctors Respond to Health Industry Problems

PMD readers weigh in on the report that physicians are looking to get out of health care and the majority of commenters agree that the biggest problem with health care in the U.S. is outside forces - namely the government and insurance companies - in the physician-patient relationship.

Physician Money Digest’s recent article on physicians looking to get out of health care has sparked a conversation among readers.

The majority of commenters agree that the biggest problem with health care in the U.S. is the affect of outside forces — namely the government and insurance companies — in the physician-patient relationship.

Dean Langdon called the insurance industry “a leech on doctor care outcomes.”

For instance, now that Gerald Grim, MD, is winding down his career, he doesn’t care about paperwork and politics. Instead, he’s allowed his focus to shift fully back onto patient care.

“I still have patients that have followed me for over 30 years in priceless relationships that many forces have tried to break and in many instances have,” he wrote. “I treasure the ones that remain and will for a few years yet.”

“In our clinic, we are practicing world class medicine, have great rapor with patients, have changed practice styles and we are still getting crushed financially,” wrote Gary Blume MD PhD. “Any system such as this that has little relationship between true work done and reimbursement is bound to fail.”

John Campell, MD, MBA, wrote that health care needs to adapt the best practices from other businesses in order to provide quality care at reasonable costs.

“Clinical pathways and standard practices must be developed and followed if we are going to survive,” Campell wrote. “This is the path to regaining control of our profession. It can be done, but we must ‘dance with the changes that are happening’, not just complain about them.”

According to Frank Ashall, there are a multitude of forces other than patient care dominating the practice of medicine.

“When you go into a doctors lounge in a hospital, you rarely hear enthusiastic and concerned talk about a patient's condition, or about an intellectually interesting disease,” Ashall wrote. “What you do hear is doctors discussing the system and how it affects them negatively.”

He added that, “Hippocrates would not be happy, and probably would be an unsuccessful physician, if he practiced in the US system!”

Want your voice heard? Join the conversation!