Can Primary Care (and FFS) Survive the CV19 Crisis?

There has been a lot of stress during this pandemic. Primary care docs in the old system have been hit hard. Patients weren’t coming in so they couldn’t bill the insurers. Luckily, the insurers have seen this as a problem and have been paying the doctors anyway. NOT. They could give a crap about them. As this article puts it:

“When visits get disrupted for any reason … and combine that with the fact that the majority of primary care practices have low reserves or no reserves — they often exist on a month-to-month basis and don’t have that prospective form of predictable population-based payment — that really puts them at risk of not being able to make it through this tumultuousness.”

Of course the author doesn’t truly understand what can fix this system:

The financial problems that physicians are having — as well as the concerns patients have over paying for treatment — are evidence of the need to reconsider the way healthcare is financed in the U.S., Cavanaugh said. “Clearly something is fundamentally wrong when the greatest health risk in 100 years causes unemployment in healthcare, and people to lose their insurance. The fact that when we need it most, the system crumbles the quickest, is a problem. Whether it’s ‘Medicare for All’ or some other approach … we need to ensure people get coverage all the time.”

Ummm, how about DIRECT PRIMARY CARE? Our system didn’t crumble. We didn’t need the insurer’s money. We take care of patients without insurance so they weren’t abandoned. We were there with telemedicine on day one for NO EXTRA COST because we do that already. People were covered all the time. You would think the mainstream press would have trouble realizing this but this author, Joyce Frieden, oversees MedPage Today’s Washington coverage, so she deals with healthcare all the time and shouldn’t have been so clueless.

The answer to fix our broken healthcare system, and find an answer to this Kobayashi Maru, is to remove the government and the insurance companies. Boop, problem solved.

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