Firing Patients

I was sent this article from the Poughkeepsie Journal called Doctors ‘firing’ patients is a disturbing development.   The author, Karen Angel, brings up a lot of appropriate concerns but is off base on a few of them.   She first decries how her mother was fired from a medical practice (after she sent management a letter about errors in her care).  Playing devil’s advocate here, if that letter included any threats of suing then you are going to be fired.   End of story.  And her belief that somehow patients should NEVER be fired is lunacy.  Physicians have a right to see who they want and remove those who they don’t want (belligerent patients, narc seekers, chronic no-show patients, patients that threaten to sue them, etc).  That being said, the rest of her points are accurate and worrisome.  Doctors are jumping into hospital employment more and more.   Choices for patients are becoming fewer and fewer.  This blog has been over that again and again.  It is bad for healthcare.    The world needs to wake up like this author did.    She, and her mother, finally got satisfaction when a neurologist friend helped her out:

He referred me to a solo primary-care practitioner, an old-school doctor who would see my mother in the hospital if she had to be admitted, ensuring continuity of care. Goodbye scary system of rotating hospitalists.

I guess I am more amazed how clueless the public (or freelance writers) really are.  She is complaining about “hospitalists”?  That horse has been out of the barn for over a decade.  Lady, you haven’t seen nuthin’ yet.   Wait until there are no more family doctors even left.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “Firing Patients

  1. mamadoc
    February 27, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I agree, we don’t fire enough patients. And when noncompliance starts to negatively impact with this P4P nonsense there will be a LOT more firings. This lady and her wacko ideas are one of the reasons there will be no family doctors left in a few years. “Scary hospitalist system?” Where’s she been living, a cave?

  2. Ken
    February 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I actually think we don’t fire enough patients. Our lives have all been impacted negatively by obnoxious people, and the poor front office staff have it even worse. If the writer’s mother was fired for sending a letter regarding the quality of her care (I would love to hear the other side’s story) then why doesn’t she just find a new practice? I can only imagine that if rude people are fired a few times then they may start acting more polite and everyone’s life would improve and they would likely get better care. And the in-patient care provided by hospitalists is much better than the care I used to provide when I tried to do in-patient medicine while still trying to see a clinic full of patients in my office.

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