Physicians should drop all dealings with public and private insurers

LETTER — Posted Aug. 7, 2006

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Regarding "Medicare to post prices for common physician services" (Article, June 26): In this article, AMA Immediate Past President J. Edward Hill, MD, sums up the dire straits we are in as physicians: "Gone are the days when a doctor posts fees and patients pay the doctor directly. Now, it's third-party payers -- insurers and the government --who set prices."

How long, fellow physicians, will we allow insurers and the government to abuse our patience and our patients?

This whole third-party coding, billing, precertification, denial and appeal mess must end now. We, as physicians, must drop/terminate all insurer contracts.

We should simply charge patients at our own rate to keep pace with our overhead; just like every other business and service in the USA. This will keep rates competitive, as we will all be competing with each other for patient "business." This is the only fair and equitable solution to the current disaster. Patients must be first, foremost, and always the main focus.

Craig M. Wax, DO, Mullica Hill, N.J.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/08/07/edlt0807.htm.

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