Welcome back!  This month was a great discussion about the Doctor/Patient relationship!  I would like to thank our guest DO, Dr. Deb Roman, and our two community bloggers Jan Guttormsen and Charity Payne for their honesty and insight.  I would also like to thank all of you who commented and wrote in to us…we listened.

I have a few final thoughts on the topic that I would like to share with you, along with an introduction to a Silverton Oregon doctor who is doing it his way.  So grab a cup of coffee and let’s chat…

Let’s start with what we learned from this month’s blog.  The doctor patient relationship has changed.  We don’t trust our physicians the way we used to.  There was a day when whatever our doctor said was “the” truth, and now that we have the internet, with too much information at our fingertips, we’ve all become our own researchers and can, at times, diagnose ourselves while our doctor scratches their head…further eroding our confidence in their ability to care for us.

Ouch.

To make matters worse, how many of us have had our doctor tell us we “need to seek counseling” for our issues, only to find out we really DID have a physical ailment that they simply couldn’t diagnose.  Judging from all the emails I received over the last month…many of you.  Too many of you.

Ouch.

We also learned this month that doctors can’t just be doctors any longer.  The bean counters..errr…insurance companies, and the HMO’s control what tests can and cannot be ordered and what procedures can and cannot be performed.  Then there is the matter of that little pesky “point system” that Jan’s blog brought up,  in which professionals are rewarded for how many vaccines they can talk you in to receiving…

Ouch.

I know a lot of doctors.  I work around a lot of doctors.  I don’t know one doctor who went into this profession to be told how to practice medicine by an insurance company.  I don’t know one doctor who became a doctor because they hate people and like to see them suffer.  I do, however, know a lot of doctors who are suffering.  The cost of doing business soars while the payments from insurance companies shrink. 

Ouch.

So what’s the answer?

Some doctors think they have found the answer.  Many providers are switching to point-of-service collections to curtail their losses, asking patients to pay for services before leaving the office. While the movement may not make everyone happy, it may be the only way to keep doctors in business

Dr. Rob Rosborough, a Silverton Oregon doctor, walked away from the insurance maze and hasn’t looked back.  According to an interview he gave to the  Molalla Pioneer, this change has allowed him to spend more time with his patients and provide superior, cost-effective care.

He’s able to do so by “taking back the control of healthcare costs from insurance companies.” Patients at Township Health no longer go through insurance companies to pay their premiums, but instead through the practice directly with a membership service that resembles a food co-op.

Patients pay a monthly membership and have access to Rosborough and all of the services he offers.

But the savings aren’t seen from the patients alone. Rosborough said cutting out insurance companies allows his practice to eliminate administrative burdens and costs, and pass those savings right back to his patients.

Wow.

How freeing must that be?  To be able to practice medicine, no strings attached?  Sad that this has become the odd case scenario, because many of us remember when this was the norm. 

The doctors, my friends, aren’t the bad guy here.  Corporates putting profits before patients, rising costs of malpractice insurance and in some cases, the inability of States to fairly compensate their doctors who treat the poor and downtrodden…have all taken their toll on the ability of doctors to simply practice medicine. 

I hope we all learned something this month.  I know I did.

Be sure and join us next month, as we talk about diet and exercise.  You will be SO INSPIRED by our community bloggers next month!!  I promise!  See you then…and as always, thank you for reading us…we appreciate you!

 

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Author

    Wow, I’m honored that not only you read the blog, but responded! Thank you for that…I will make sure to bring this comment to our Foundation ED’s attention. Thank you for the work that you do…

  2. Avatar

    First of all, thank you Linda for a spot on description of how my practice makes the doctor patient relationship a priority. The single most important part of my job is the connection I have with my patients. With DPC I have not only regained control of this, but it has renewed my love of medicine. The other things that DPC does if provide transparent costs for medications, labs and imaging. We negotiate rates that save our patients literally thousand of dollars sometimes. Our labs are 95% less on average than insurance prices (Quest Diagnostics, almost all the labs are less than $6 each) Our imaging costs are 70-75% less (MRIs $290, CTs $300, xrays $40).
    We have wholesale generic medications dispensed in our office. Blood pressure meds are 1-2cents/pill, cholesterol meds 1-3 cents/pill
    Antibiotics are less than $4-5 for the whole course.

    Because our clinic has not administrative burden, our office visits are free of paperwork and computers in the exam room. My attention is always on the patient.

    The bottom line is, if we make the patient in charge of their healthcare spending, eliminating the middleman, we can provide exceptional care and have happy patients and happy doctors.

    When was the last time your heard a Doc was HAPPY?

    Thanks again. Dr Rob

  3. Avatar
    Author

    From Gail Walker: “Sounds like a good work around, but it’s sad that we’re all stuck with a horrible system.
    I’m looking for a doctor again and I hope I can find one not so controlled by our current system that also treats my body as a whole.”

  4. JAN GUTTORMSEN

    I totally agree, the doctor’s are not the “bad guys”. They are just as frustrated as the patients with all the rules and regulations the insurance companies mandate. They are not allowed to practice medicine in the way they should be able to treat their patients. As I said before, we have allowed the insurance companies too much power. It is a sad state of affairs.

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