Whom Shall I Serve?
Unlike 46% of Doctors who regret going into medicine, I do not regret my choice. I love practicing medicine and I love that I can really make a difference in my patients’ lives. But to be true to the Hippocratic Oath, I had to drop out of Medicare.
I will follow that method of treatment which according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patient and abstain from whatever is harmful or mischievous.” – Louis Lasagna. 1964. Hippocratic Oath (Modern version)
We Speak Your Language!
You as my patient, and I as your doctor, together, are best suited in determining which treatment options are best for you. Providing treatment in accordance to the dictates or restrictions of Medicare or Insurance companies is not what I signed-up for when I took my oath.
Who Does Your Doctor Serve?
Who do you want your doctor to serve? You, or your insurance company? Like it or not, doctors in-network have chosen to make Medicare and Insurance Companies their priority. One cannot have two masters.
This is not my opinion only. It’s the opinion of one of the most respected experts on healthcare in the USA.
Physicians who practice medicine in this environment learned long ago that they are not free to be the unfettered agents of their patients. For example, if you are insured by Blue Cross, your doctors will tend to view Blue Cross as their customer, rather than you. They will look to Blue Cross rules and procedures to determine what drugs to prescribe, what tests to order, and when and if surgery is to take place. On the other hand, if you are an Aetna patient, they will tend to view Aetna as their customer and they will tend to look at Aetna’s rules and procedures in making treatment decisions.
Goodman, John C. 2012-06-01
The danger is that instead of serving as your agent, doctors will become agents of third parties— insurance companies, employers, Medicare, Medicaid, and so on. To the degree that this occurs, the third party’s needs become more important than the patient’s needs. And remember, the primary need of the third party is to avoid spending too much money on you.
Over 82 percent of physicians believe doctors have little ability to change the healthcare system. I share the same sentiment. But while I may not be able to change the healthcare system, in my own practice,…
I can refuse to participate in an outmoded, inefficient healthcare system. And hopefully, in so doing, change the healthcare experience for my own patients – for you.
You, too, have a say in all this. You, too, have the freedom to choose whom you shall see.