Research shows that physician-owned practices provide better quality of care. For example, in comparison to organizations employing more than 100 physicians, practices with 3 to 9 physicians had 27% fewer preventable hospital admissions and those comprised of one or two physicians had 33% fewer preventable hospital admissions. Fewer days spent in the hospital leads to fewer bills for consumers to pay.
In the United States, 400 physicians commit suicide annually – an average of one per day. Physicians have the highest rate of suicide of any profession; almost double that of the general population. While physician suicide has reached epidemic proportions, the general public is relatively unaware of this tragic phenomenon. Robyn Simon has produced a documentary film, Do No Harm, to shed light on this taboo topic.
I want to share information about a new program that can help Kitsap County buck the trend by bringing a whole crop of enthusiastic young physicians to our area. It’s called the Northwest Washington Family Medicine Residency Program.
The unforeseen casualty in this story is the pediatric department at MedStar Franklin Square Hospital. On April 3rd, 2018, MedStar abruptly announced all pediatric inpatient care and emergency services were closing, effective April 6th, and all pediatric staff, including eight physicians, were terminated. Sadly, Baltimore County is home to some of the nations’ most vulnerable families, struggling with high rates of drug addiction, domestic violence, and poverty.
MOC is a cash cow for the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and its 24 specialty boards, which administer the exams. According to its most recent tax filings, ABMS president Lois Margaret Nora made nearly $700,000 in compensation from the organization in 2016. Thirteen other executives made over $150,000 from the nonprofit in the same year. In total, ABMS spent over $10 million on compensation, more than half its annual revenues, which largely come from inflated testing fees.
Online reviews are not a reflection of medical care quality. Patients do not like receiving medical bills and do not like rude clinic staff. They are unhappy if the physician disagrees with them, they abhor long wait times, and they detest prior authorizations, (news flash, so do physicians!) Yet these criticisms are not a reflection of the healthcare quality provided by the physician. It is doubtful these grievances even have an impact on the mortality rate.
Doctors have spent decades honing their clinical skills and should be entitled to choose the documentation method they find most effective and efficient. Some physicians find electronic records helpful and should be encouraged to use them. My pediatric practice will keep surviving on a shoestring, a prayer, and good old-fashioned paper. It warms my heart to know each chart note contains helpful information and not one human being leaves with NONE as their diagnosis.
I remember the first time someone threatened my life as a physician. It was my day off, so I was not in the clinic that day; a Children’s Hospital specialty group was working there instead, and after a staff member called the police, she notified me. A father had walked in saying he wanted to kill me for “taking his children away from him.” Wracking my brain as to this man’s identity, I drew a blank.
My advice for patients everywhere: Whenever possible, find an independent practice, whether a solo doctor or direct primary care clinic, and patronize that physician. Your care will be more personalized, cost less in the long run, and your health will be better for the investment you made in yourself.
After reviewing more than 100 EOB’s personally, a clear and definitive pattern of fraud emerges demonstrating GEHA makes every single patient responsible for $50-100 in out-of-pocket costs for immunizations. Language in our GEHA contract clearly states we must follow their specifications according to each EOB we receive.