Third-Party Intrusion

Charles P. Prezzia, MD, MPH
Article Type: 
July/August 1998
Volume Number: 
Issue Number: 

Dear Editor,

I heartily appreciated the editorial by Dr. James Weaver entitled, "Physicians Hear This: Say Goodbye to Third-Party Payment or Die" [Medical Sentinel 1998;3(1):26-28].

To address one point in this article, i.e., that fee-for-service engenders a conflict to overtreat patients, I think that this conflict will be removed if the third-party payer is in fact removed from the patient examination room. That is, if the relationship between the payer and the third-party payer does not include the physician, or if in fact there is no third-party payer, the patient himself will understand the cost of medical care and begin to make informed decisions. This, in fact, will lead to patients seeking physicians, who are known to practice quality care and not overutilize unnecessary medical resources or overtreat.

Again, however, I agree with the main thrust by the author that the intrusion of the third-party payer into the examination room has unfortunately left us in the medical profession prey to their manipulation. Thus, it is imperative for the future of medicine that we rid ourselves of this intrusion.

Charles P. Prezzia, MD, MPH
Holland, OH

Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1998;3(4);109-113. Copyright©1998 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

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