There is a battle that goes on in my office every day. In fact, there are many of them. But they are battles that need to be fought none theÂ less.Â I fight for the rightÂ of patients to receive the care they want. I fight for my patients to receive the specific medications I prescribe. I fight to make sure that our physician-patient relationship remains private and personal. This is a battle that occurs between the physician and the third party insurance companyÂ that is expected to eventually pay the bill. It also is a battle that takes place with the state mandated payers such as Medicare and Medicaid. Some physicians believe that an easy solution to all this mess is to institute a single payer system. Why not just bill one payer that controls everything. Sounds easy doesn’t it? WRONG! Imagine that you are shopping for groceries. You have the option of purchasing food at a number of different supermarkets. Each of them is competing for your dollar. If one of them treats you especially badly, you are free to take your purchasing power somewhere else. This keeps the overall systen in check and you benefit more than you can ever imagine. These supermarkets seek the best produce, the cheapest prices, and give you the best care or you will go somewhere else. Now apply that logic to your medical care. What if you didn’t have a choice of insurance companies? What if you didn’t have a choice of what medicines you were allowed? What if some panel of “experts” told you what services you could or could not receive? Count me out. I would rather continue to fight those battles because it provides the best for you in the long run.
About Richard Edgerly, MD
I am a board-certified (not that it matters), Family Medicine physician who practices in rural Washington State. I am the owner of Assurance Healthcare and Counseling Center in the city of Yakima.
Always appreciating what a little humor does to refresh the soul, I have also written a collection of stories about events that have occurred over the years in my practice, and I hope that they will also make you laugh (see Just a Spoonful of Laughter Helps the Medicine Go Down).