Patients paying doctors directly for their care is best for patients, best for doctors, and best for the country. Most of my patients know that this simple idea has been my obsession for the last few years. Initially, I thought this idea was just a good way to reorganize my practice. But now, with Medicare within a decade of insolvency, with decreasing numbers of medical students choosing primary care as a career, with increasing numbers of patients finding good primary care either unavailable or unaffordable, it is an idea that deserves broader attention.
Coincidentally two op-ed articles this week made the point that insurance for routine care is a big part of what’s wrong with American healthcare.
Tuesday, Jonathan Kellerman, a psychologist and a renowned author of mystery novels, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal comparing health insurance companies to the Mafia.
Today, the LA Times published an op-ed (by me!) asserting that customer service is better in most doughnut shops than in most doctors’ offices, and insurance interference is partly to blame. In it, I try to convince doctors to give up the insurance business model for simple retail medicine — the doughnut shop model.
I urge you to read both articles and pass them around to friends and colleagues, especially to physicians. Thank you for spreading my obsession.
Happy Passover to all my Jewish readers!