High healthcare costs
08/14/2014 8:17 PM
08/14/2014 8:18 PM
In an excellent and thorough review of the rise of and problems with free-standing ER’s, Barry Shlachter exposes to the public a problem that has been known to medicine for some time. (See: “As ERs’ business grows, so does backlash”)
A historical point that should be brought to light is that this has been caused by the payers being “penny wise and pound foolish.”
Through a long course of under-valuing the work of primary care physicians they have driven Marcus Welby almost to extinction.
When patients can’t find a physician, or their physician is overwhelmed and can’t see them in a timely manner, they go to a clinic where they are not well known, where tests already recently done might be duplicated, and where some or all of the services may be “out of network.”
The increased costs are well-illustrated in the Shlachter piece, but the root cause from the payers should be noted.
— Steve Brotherton, M.D., Fort Worth
Submit a Letter or Cheer/Jeer
Verification: Letters must include author's full name, address and day and home phone numbers for verification purposes only.
Frequency: Writers are limited to one letter every 30 days.
Content: Suggested letter length is 200 words or less. Please limit your Cheer or Jeer to 50 words or less.
Items may be edited. All submissions to the Star-Telegram will become the property of the Star-Telegram.
Questions: Call 817-390-7830 or contact Mike Norman, Editorial Page Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the Discussion
Fort Worth Star-Telegram is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.