Who Decides Your Medical Care?

Do you ever feel like your doctor just doesn’t LISTEN to you when you are telling him your symptoms? I have noticed that ever since HMO’s (Managed Care Insurance) came into existance, that doctor’s don’t seem to really listen anymore. OH, they hear you talk about an ache in your back, a pain in your head, feeling blue. But do they really listen to that in the context you are speaking? I suspect no, they are too busy relating it to some textbook example, or worse…..to what the insurance companies will cover.

I suppose it’s not really fair to blame the doctors alone. They are pretty much stuck in the middle between patients wanting their attention and quality care and the insurance companies telling them WHAT that quality care will consist of, what tests they can and cannot order, what prescriptions they can prescribe and worst of all what specialist, if any, you will be allowed to see.

The Junkfood Science Blog (stop rolling your eyes) gives us a glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes and why today’s medical ethics don’t seem to measure up to the same high standards they used to, and quality of care just isn’t as good as it used to be; proving to me that it wasn’t my imagination that managed care seemed to degrade health care.

Medical ethics retrospective

Dr. James Gaulte, M.D., has taken up the issue of the changing face of medical ethics in a thought provoking article today titled, “It is not your father’s medical ethics any more.” He opens by asking healthcare professionals if medical ethics — which place what’s best for individual patients first — can survive in a financial environment where a doctor’s autonomy is diminished and their pay is controlled by a third party?

Dr. Gaulte offers a historical perspective in describing the birth of what is called “The New Professionalism.” In the decades before managed care, patients’ insurance followed them and they could choose any physician and doctor’s fees weren’t set by an insurer, but by what he and the payer agreed was reasonable, customary and prevailing. Referrals could be based on the doctor’s knowledge of the best specialists and prescriptions were written based on what doctors believed best for the patients, writes Dr. Gaulte. All that changed when managed care became the middleman.

© 2006-2008 Sandy Szwarc

Read the FULL STORY here.

You might think of the insurance companies as the middleman, but I think they are the puppet masters and we are all their puppets.

In Sandy’s piece, she mentions an article in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The article is from 1998 and the authors have this to say in one part of it:

Maximization of Group Health

We propose that devotion to the best medical interests of each individual patient be replaced with an ethic of devotion to the best medical interests of the group for which the physician is personally responsible.

The shift from individual health to group health is consistent with the focus of many HMOs on the health of the populations they serve and with the basis on which HMOs and providers are increasingly being judged for quality of care.

Best medical interests of the group? Group health? Focus of the HMOs? I don’t know about you, but when I go to a doctor, I’m usually pretty much on my own and the only “group” there are all the other individuals waiting their turn. And I don’t recall seeing any sign on the door telling me that an HMO is the one really making the diagnosis.

Sorry, I want my doctor to consider MY best interests and treat ME; not take into account a bunch of strangers that have nothing to do with me and base my care on consideration for them. Nor do I want some insurance company whose only interested in their own bottom line and profits having any say whatsoever in diagnosing me or telling my doctor HOW to treat me.

If these are today’s standards it’s no wonder there are hundreds of thousands of deaths each and every year by “health care” [see here and here and here and here].

On top of that there are the number of deaths per year from pharmaceutical errors [see here and here and here and here].

Doesn’t that just make you feel all safe and confident in the health care system? It does NOT with me. And if we allow government to shove this ‘universal’ health care down our throats, I can pretty much guarantee you will NOT receive anywhere near the care that Ted Kennedy just got, contrary to what the candidates tell you.

If you think health care sucks now, just wait.

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~ by swfreedomlover on June 4, 2008.

One Response to “Who Decides Your Medical Care?”

  1. I am married to a doctor and I can say first hand that the Healthcare system is going to fail in America, it is waaaay too burdened by unjust / illegal overhead B.S.

    The Management / Administration folks in the Healthcare system just want to pad their retire accounts by pushing all the SHI! downward onto the Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, etc… They do not care if the doctors leave, they are replaceable with new CHEAPER, GREENER, FOREIGN trained doctors who they can Pimp for a good 2 years before they have a clue that they to are getting shafted.

    So at the end of the day, it will be the Management who stays because they “Do Not Care”, not the Doctors and Nurses, etc who do care.

    Good Luck America!

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