This is What We are Dealing With

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“Networks are the name of the game right now. When you are able to direct patient traffic to an narrow network, you can usually create better rates and drive more volume to the more efficient providers.”

– J.B. Silvers, PhD, A Healthcare Finance Expert who is a professor at the Weatherhead School of Management and the School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University

This quote was found on the sidebar in an article about UnitedHealthcare dropping physicians in Medical Economics.   This is reality. This is the reason behind the facade of quality indicators.  They are looking to drop docs (a trend to continue) and direct patients to other physicians who are cheaper to them.  This is what we are dealing with.  The only way to fight back is to walk.

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]

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6 Responses

  1. Dub37 says:

    I am a 76 year old male, type 2 diabetic. My doc is an Internist. Our local hospital owned his practice. With no warning I get a letter stating his office was closing. Went to see him and he told me the hospital had terminated his contract. He was one of the best PCP’s I have encountered. Contend health care in our country, with insurance companies and hospital administrators leading the way, is going to hell. Have been going to this Doc over 30 years.

    • Doug Farrago says:

      This is the way things are. The only way to fix it is for PCPs to go independent again and do more direct primary care.

  2. John Parkin says:

    I’m surprised that United Healthcare isn’t criticized more. They are the largest health plan in the country, make 5-6 billion a year with a CEO who makes more than 100 million annually. They have a history of huge fines for ripping off providers, consumers and even their own stockholders. I am embarrassed that they are based in my home state of Minnesota [at least they are currently freezing their asses off along with the rest of us].

  3. Pat says:

    As referenced last month Lance, the same mindset and mechanisms will be used to force all physicians to see Medicare/Medicaid “gubmint” dependents. The fascistic collaboration of insurers and government will continue to eradicate the individualism of physicians as well as patients.

    On the up side, what a delicious joke on all the proponents of Obamacare which, still, has not produced a single additional doc.

    • Sir Lance-a-lot says:

      Thank you, Pat, for a dictionary-correct reference to Fascism.

      A vital element of the philosophy was a partnership between government and large industry, for the “betterment” of all citizens.

  4. Sir-Lance-a-Lot says:

    If you look at it in the context of a long-term strategy, rather than as a series of annoying events, you can see the behavior of the insurers and regulators as being intended to create a sort of a winnowing process, in which the slow promulgation of more and more burdensome and pointless requirements slowly pushes the less compliant and more independent physicians out of the system, leaving behind an increasingly passive group of collaborators, who will cower and comply as each new rule is introduced, ultimately, over a period of years, transforming a profession famous for its resistance to leadership (the saying was always that getting doctors to go along with something was like “herding cats”) into one that will ask “How high?” when some official says “Jump!”

    The random whittling down of networks is simply another way to break the will of physicians, leaving those who are not “out in the cold” to wonder whether they’re next, and to begin trying to act in whatever way that they believe that the insurance companies want them to act, so that their heads will not be next on the block, and their families will not be the ones that go hungry (metaphorically now, but literally later, as the plan rolls out over the years).

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