Stand Ready To Assist


In almost a parody upon itself, the AAFP News put out this headline for its article on the VA mess:

Family Physicians ‘Stand Ready to Assist’ Nation’s Veterans

In other words, family docs, we are sending the veterans your way.  Like it or not.   The AAFP offered our services so be a good sport about it and do it.   The government will thank you some day.  Not.

The AAFP outlined five proposals that could address the immediate primary care physician shortage:

  • Allow family physicians working outside the agency to treat eligible veterans.

  • Permit prescriptions written by civilian family physicians to be filled at VA pharmacies.

  • Allow civilian family physicians to order diagnostic tests at VA facilities.

  • Permit FPs outside the system to make referrals to subspecialists and other health care professionals working in VA facilities.

  • Enable civilian FPs to provide care for eligible veterans in accordance with the protections provided by the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Listen, we all want to help patients.  We all feel patriotic to our country and want to help the veterans.  I get that.  I also get that veterans are not easy patients and have a ton of problems.  There also is a NATIONAL primary care shortage for the same reason there is a VA primary care shortage.  That reason being MONEY.  So before the AMA offered us up so casually they should have asked for some real concessions.  More pay.  No nurses lead ACOs.  More overall tort reform.  And a ton of others things.   Instead, they threw us under the bus again.  Thanks, guys, should be lots of fun.

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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3 Responses

  1. Goingbroke says:

    Oh, and by the way, you will be paid Tricare’s 80% of Medicare rates. I guess AAFP is going to reduce membership fees by 20% this year as they ‘Stand Ready to Assist’.

  2. Mamadoc says:

    The AAFP has, once again, proved that they are worse. than. useless.

  3. Pat says:

    This isn’t ‘patriotism’, whatever that means anymore. This is mere exploitation of an event for free publicity and image buffing. Of course they’re pro-vet, who isn’t? And why not offer something in the abstract that you personally won’t have to pony up? Every lousy politician, every car dealership running a Memorial Day sale, and every organized medicine group wants the public to think better of them in order to sell their product. Of course the only ones with any value to trade are the car dealers.
    This is too nakedly stupid to even be offensive, it’s just predictably pathetic.

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