I was struck by this blog post, and by how hard I’ve been working to prevent this scenario from occurring in my office, with good success so far, but its a constant struggle.
Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the blog post. Its worth a few minutes to read the entire post.
You the patient are really not the customer of the physician. Since the insurer will determine whether and how much the physician will be paid for attending to your needs, you are largely a bystander in the relationship. The doctor’s customer has become the insurer.
As my patient’s know, I don’t want to get into a situation where I’m really working for the insurance company. However, due to the power that they wield, its a constant fight to avoid just that situation. From rules about what medications they will pay for to procedures and testing that they will or won’t pay for based on arcane and outdated information, I’m constantly having to think not only about what my patient needs from me, but also whether their insurance will cover the procedure or testing and if not, who can and will.
You can rest assured that I’m not going to give up this fight easily.