Getting Owned


The Graham Center Policy One-Pager put out a piece illustrated in the AAFP journal called Fewer Americans Report a Personal Physician as Their Usual Source of Health Care.  Is that a surprise to anyone?

The report goes on to say:

  • One in five Americans reports no usual source of health care
  • The number of Americans reporting that they have a personal relationship with a usual source of care has declined steadily over the past 15 year
  • Although the percentage of all persons who reported a usual source of care across the study period declined slightly, a more striking divergence was apparent in those who had a usual source of care.
  • Declines in the percentage of people reporting an individual clinician as their usual source of care was countered by a nearly equivalent rise in those reporting a facility.
  • The advent of patient-centered medical homes, broader primary care teams, and increased virtual contact may help to explain these findings and represent opportunities for improved outcomes. This important topic deserves further research and the attention of health care stakeholders.

This has always been the goal of hospitals and administrators and insurers.  They want to make sure that patients don’t have a doctor but a system.  Their system.  The doctor is a pawn or chess piece that can be easily replaced. The bogus team concept was created to squash loyalties to a single doctor.  You hear it when hospitals and insurers call themselves health care givers in their ads.  You hear it when they devalue doctors and call them providers. It is time to stand up for ourselves and for patients and take the healthcare system back.

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] 

  5 comments for “Getting Owned

  1. DrG
    January 7, 2016 at 9:40 am

    There is only one way to take the system back: stop playing the insurance game. Go to cash only and let the patient collect from the insurance company they chose. It is their insurance company, not the docs. Wake up before you become an extinct species.

  2. Sir Lance-a-lot
    January 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    This is interesting, because I was having just this conversation with a very friendly and bright 65-ish yo pt. at our newly-opened urgent care office the other day.

    As she was walking out, she said, “You folks are so nice, and so efficient that I’m going to come here for all my medical care from now on.”

    I gave her the usual response about how she couldn’t do that, continuity of care, blah, blah, blah.

    She replied that her primary doctor was difficult to get an appointment with, that she usually saw a PA or someone new whom she doesn’t know, that they tend to be unpleasant, if not downright nasty in the office, and that she had lost a great deal of confidence in their skills.

    And I realized that the average primary care office (nowadays associated with a hospital) has completely lost touch with the four old-fashioned requirements for a successful practice, while we, in our private urgent care business, had completely usurped them, to wit:

    Ability, Availability, Affordability, and Affability.

    Do I hear an “Amen” Doug?

    • Doug Farrago
      January 6, 2016 at 3:39 pm


  3. RSW
    January 6, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Let’s see.

    For the past decade, the AAFP’s message to the world has been: family physicians and their practices are so grossly incompetent and mismanaged that they need to be “transformed;” and that medical care is provided not by doctors but by teams. And now they’re surprised that patients don’t have a relationship with a personal physician?

    Something else that’s really interesting: in the annual year-end flurry of “aren’t we wonderful, look at all the great things we’ve done for you” articles on AAFP News, there’s not ONE single mention of the PCMH. It’s inconceivable that they’ve looked at the evidence and finally realized that this is a ruinously expensive, destructive style of practice management. My guess is that they’ve been told by their corporate masters that they have no intention of pouring any more cash down this endless drain, so shut up!

    • Perry
      January 6, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      It’s all rather confusing isn’t it?

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