How Perverted Can HMO Medicine Get?

Author: 
Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD
Article Type: 
Correspondence
Issue: 
July/August 1999
Volume Number: 
4
Issue Number: 
4

Dear Dr. Orient,
HMOs have destroyed many long-term patient-physician relationships, they have created an ethical conflict of interest for physicians who must agree to withhold care to their patients for profit, and they have perpetrated the biggest scam of all time on patients whom they have promised "something for nothing." Managed care has unquestionably lowered the overall quality of medical care available today. But is this as bad as it gets?

Recently, one of my patients required an EEG, which I arranged to be done at our local hospital. Imagine my surprise when the hospital technicians informed me that I, as the treating neurologist, would not be allowed to read her EEG. Because the patient was forced into managed care by her husband's employer, and I don't participate in any form of managed care, another neurologist who has never seen the patient and who knows nothing about her clinical situation will be reading her EEG and sending the result to me. That's a little like holding the diaphragm of the stethoscope to your patient's chest while the earpieces are in another physician's ears. Oh say can you hear...it's getting worse every year.

Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD
Jamestown, NY


Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(4);117-118. Copyright©1999 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

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