Quest for Physician-Patient Led Alternatives: Another Voice - An Interview with
Hal Scherz. MD
can always trust the United States to do the right thing, once every possible alternative has been
Hal Scherz, 57, is a pediatric urologist in Atlanta. He serves as vice-president of finance
for Georgia Urologists, the largest
group of urologists in Georgia, with $75
million in revenues. In 2009, he founded Doctors for Patient Care
(docs4patientcare.com),and serves as its president. It now
has 3000 members and chapters in 14
are the alternatives to Obamacare? What is the right thing for physicians and
patients to do?
I think the right thing for doctors to do is to uphold
the Hippocratic Oath, to take care of patients and do no harm. What we are
being asked to do today is to turn our backs on our patients and abrogate our responsibilities
that we swore to fulfill.
Doctors have to make a decision as to what’s important
in the future – the continuation of the Hippocratic Oath , or to do what Galen, a contemporary of Hippocrates, advocated, do what’s best for society. Modern society has
chosen the former – to do what’s best for patients – so that’s what we have to
do as doctors.
I understand it, you wear three hats.
you are an extremely busy pediatric urologist.
you’re the vice-president of finance for Georgia Urologists.
Three, you founded Doctors for Patient Care
and serve as its president.
motivated you to found Doctors for Patient Care? What is its status now?
Doctors for Patient Care is a physician advocacy
organization. In 2008, the handwriting
was on the wall as far as American medicine was concerned. The position then-Senator Obama was taking in
his run for the White House was that American health care was going to undergo
a drastic change and that was government control. Unfortunately that has come to fruition.
were you doing at that point?
Up until then I was extremely busy in my practice. I
still am. I had not been active in
medical, state, or national politics. I
was busy in my practice and in medical academics. I made excuses to not being
politically active – the mindset of most physicians in this country. As a result, as physicians, we’ve been left without a voice and very
When health care became a major issue at the end of
2008 and the start of 2009, I discovered there was no avenue for physician
advocacy that satisfied me or that was effective. I
thought we could turn back the government tide if enough physicians and
patients were to voice their opposition just as they did with the immigration
amnesty bill that preceded it two years earlier when the flooded the White
House switchboards with objections.
did you think was needed to turn the tide?
We needed an organization of physicians and patients
to sound the alarm. I spoke with a good
friend of mine, Doctor Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon and a Republican Congressman from Georgia. Tom urged me to start my own advocacy group. At the same time, people on talk radio and elsewhere were
saying, “Where are the doctors? What do they think?” And bad things were being
said, like doctors are cutting off legs just to make more money or taking out
tonsils instead of treating a sore throat. There was no rebuttal.
you founded Doctors for Patient Care?
Yes, we started in 2009 with 40 doctors with the
help of Congressman Price. Shortly
thereafter talk radio, media people, and policy people, like the Heritage
Foundation and health care think tanks around the country, jumped on board. We
soon had hundreds then thousands of doctor members. We grew in stature and began taking frequent
trips to Washington, to offer advice, and to make our mission clear and to tell
Congressmen and Senators what was at stake and what the issues were. We built a footprint for Doctors for Patient
Care. We are, after all, in the clinical
trenches and know what patients need and want.
Meanwhile, our chapters in 14 states began to have
influence in state policy matters.
you know, there is a growing resistance
movement to implementing Obamacare, among physicians, businesses, patient
groups, and state governors and legislatures. most of whom are listed on your
web site. As an example, 32 states have declined to set up health
do we go from here?
Even if Obamacare were to be fully implemented, I
believe it will collapse under the
weight of bureaucracy. It is simply unworkable.
This law calls for 159 new agencies and bureaus and departments with
thousands of new bureaucrats that will be doing nothing but administrating
We have seen this before –attempting to regulate all
physician and patient behavior and transactions, and it has failed every single
time. It’s being attempted on such a
massive scale everybody knows how it can’t
possibly be done, even with the best of
intentions. It’s a Rube Goldberg scheme that’s been put
together in a piecemeal harum scarum fashion
by special interests who got what they wanted to get it passed without regard
to the consequences.
Just last week we saw 14 Democratic senators
lobbying to get rid of the 2.3% tax on the profits of medical device companies,
which is killing innovation and employment in their states. That 32 states have decided not to implement health
exchanges is another sign of failure.
The federal government does not have the infrastructure or expertise to
implement health exchanges in 32 states.
another factor as well – excessive costs.
Wall Street analysts this week
predicted that health care premiums in 2013 will spike to 20% to 30% for the average family. At some point, the public will revolt but
There are two schools of thought.
One, that Obamacare will collapse with
widespread loss of access to doctors and
hospitals and people will turn to private alternatives to continue to get high quality care.
Obamacare is such a mess by turning health care on its head that President
Obama will have to ride in on his White Horse to fix the problem by offering the Holy Grail – a single payer
you feel you’re making progress in uniting the public against Obamacare, or modifying it in such a way to make it
Well, progress is slow. As you know,
physicians are difficult to mobilize, hence, the expression “Organizing
physicians is like herding cats”
Another problem is apathy, a
feeling of helplessness, that nothing can be done to slay the federal
beast or even to bring it to its
Doctors have been told they are not good at politics
or business, so why struggle or even
try. Many doctors have given up and sold
their practices to hospitals.
Wall Street Journal reported a couple of years ago, that more than 50% of practices are owned by
hospitals or other entities. Doctors are giving up by going to work for others.
are you trying to do to reverse these trends?
We’re trying to give doctors help so they don’t need
to give up. And if they do give up, to convince them that will be giving up
everything they became a doctor to be, and their patients will be the losers.
When you have a top-down system when government
administrators, not doctors and
patients, decide what kind of care individual patients are getting, the ultimate
losers are everybody.
what’s the alternative? Is it
political? Is it organizational? Is it
massive public protests over not being able to find a doctor – or to afford a
I think it’s all of the above.
It’s in part political. I give President Obamacare credit. He has put health care out there as a topic
we should focus on. But I disagree with
his philosophy. I think the government
should be a watchdog, over a free-market
system of health care. It should not be
a government police dog sniffing to see every transaction meets federal
At the end of the day, patients should be the ones making their
health care decisions, not government. And they should do so with the doctor as their
trusted advisor, not a government bureaucrat saving money for the system
through an accountable care organization or some other government entity.
is the solution?
The solution is: patients need to be in charge of
getting their own health care insurance as a hedge against a catastrophic event rather than a pre-paid health care plan
paying for everything.
People need to have “ skin in the game”, to be in charge
of paying for their own health care insurance.
Health care needs tobe more affordable. For that to occur, there needs to a free-market for
purchase of insurance
Insurance needs to be purchased in an open
marketplace over the Internet so companies can compete for consumers’ business.
Insurance needs to be decoupled from the
workplace. People often stay in jobs
because that’s where they get their health insurance.
That should not be.
A patient should own their own policies which should be portable from
job to job and from state to state.
As it now stands, health insurance benefits the employer who can
deduct the costs of health benefits, something others cannot do. Everyone , including the self-employed,
should have deductible benefits.
We should encourage patients to become consumers and
to not expect their insurance to cover everything. In order to do that, and to give them skin in
the game, we need to encourage patients to purchase high deductible savings
accounts so they can start pricing health care services, which ought to be transparent on the
Internet. Physicians and hospitals
should be required to post their fees.
Those fees ought not be controlled by an arbitrary third party, like
government or a health plan.
What there also needs to be in this re-worked health
system is serious tort reform. The
amount of money spent on defensive medicine ranges from $200 billion to $600
billion. Reform the tort system
And the costs
of health care would tumble.
In essence, those are the pillars of a rationale,
affordable health system. Those are the
concepts physician organizations need to rally behind. If patients were allowed to privately
contract with their physicians based on these principles, it would fix the system in a few years.
The North Encounter Advancement Triclima is created from a [URL=http://www.thenorthfaceforsale.net/#894]north face coupons[/URL] components which is windproof. The seams are specially sealed to maintain out ho and also wind. The front zip provides a distinctive flap which can be fitted which has a Velcro fastener and in addition it has Velcro-adjustable cuffs.Upper Confront jackets are lightweight and are generally slice right into a [URL=http://www.thenorthfaceforsale.net/#894]north face coupons[/URL] shape which makes them experience really at ease.
rCub cheap ghd
wPnm nfl jerseys from china
lOij botas ugg espaÃ±a
1dQfr ghd mk4
rVuh cheap ugg boots
vIoj michael kors sale
2vBut burberry on sale
8xAul ugg australia
9tAoe ghd nz
0nBih louis vuitton purses
7bVeo michael kors outlet
8eUmt cheap ghd
9dSlk ugg boots cheap
9mSbs nfl football jerseys
8uNqa michael kors bags
5pTgj lisseur ghd pas cher
4pOsy ugg boots
Post a Comment