Submitted to the New London Day and published
February 1, 2012
Your article “More Medicare patients being refused” in the Feb. 1 issue demonstrates how desperate and disgusted doctors have become with the unprofessional way that Medicare has been treating them over the past several years. Medicare’s strategy of threatening physicians with severe payment cuts for the hard work that they do and then backing off at the last minute is an insult to all physicians.
But, apart from its questionable ethics, Medicare’s method is a very effective way for the government to let physicians know who’s the boss. After all, being threatened with the loss of one’s ability to make a living is a powerful reason why physicians succumb to the servile position that Medicare forces upon them.
But members of the public should know that physicians’ dissatisfaction goes far beyond the payment cuts. Being treated unprofessionally robs physicians of their integrity and their professionalism. After all if one is not treated like a professional why act like one.
For this reason, out of desperation and self-respect physicians are increasingly not taking care of new Medicare patients.
Some call this reaction one sign of the increasing loss of professionalism among doctors
In fact the slow erosion of physicians’ professionalism is a topic that is being discussed by leaders in medicine.
One of the doctors in the article referred to Medicare’s methods and hassles as “rigmarole” But he was too kind, rigmarole doesn’t come close to what doctors truly feel.
Edward J. Volpintesta MD