Two Harvard Medicall School faculty members wrote an Op-Ed piece in yesterday's New York Times about the control health Insurance companies are wielding over many doctors. They are rating doctors on the drugs they prescrite and if the doctos don't conform to what the insurance companies demand, the doctors are given a poor rating on the insurers' websites. Thus, if a doctor is insecure about his or her patient load and also wants the extra dollars insurers will pay to a have certain drugs precribed, their patients can suffer.
It is inconceivable to me that any doctor would allow a health insurance company to dictate how they practice medicine. If you cannot do what is in the best interest of each individual patient, then it is time to find another profession. I don't understand how the American Medical Association allows such a practice to exist. Don't they have lawyers or lobbyists who can do something? This is just plain wrong.
I have long known that HMOs dock a doctor's salary if he or she makes too many referrals to specialists or orders too many expensive tests. I could not tolerate this as a physician and certainly could not work for an HMO, Yes, the hours would be better and perhaps the pay, but to me the practice of medicine should be what is best for each patient, no matter what the cost is to you as a physician.
I hope the day will come when health insurers are no longer allowed to practice medicine. I am not sure the Republicans will ever allow this to happen, but I can hope.