Monday, July 28, 2008

Saving Money by Paying Primary Care More

Here are five notable and quotable responses to “Trying to Save by Increasing Physicians’ Fees” (NYT front page, July 21, 2008).

“Early intervention is medically effective, but there’s no good reason it cannot be financially effective in our current system of using commercial insurance companies. ” Bert Hansen, Teacher, History of Medicine, Baruch College

“Medicare now pays doctors only to specific medical procedures. Medicare does not pay doctors to listen to patients and to communicate.” Newton Minow, Chicago

“While it is sound to pay primary-care doctors enough so that they spend more than eight minutes with a patient, it is also important for doctors to really know their over time – for many years.” Sara Hartley, MD, University of California, Berkley, School Public Health

“An aspect that should be addressed is whether physician’s skills in obtaining clinical information’s have atrophied. If so, that would impede the desired result.”
Roy T. Steigbigel, MD, Professor of Medicine, SUNY

“Most doctors know how and want to provide good care for their patient’s the current health care payment system insidiously interferes. It is refreshing to see that thdse pilot project variants of the concierge practice have recognized this.” Dean E. Kross, MD, cardiologist, Pittsburgh

The American public doesn’t yet recognize primary care verges on obsolescence because of practitioner dispair over lack of money and other issues. A national physician organization is nearing the end of a massive survey of all primary care physicians to bring this truth home. Once the truth is known, perhaps health policies will change.

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