General Question

JLeslie's avatar

Do any doctors on here feel like insurance companies cause you to not practice medicine how you ideally want to?

Asked by JLeslie (47500 points ) July 9th, 2009

Do you feel like patients do not get optimum care because of the constraints and rules dictated by the insurance companies? I know two x-navy doctors who in many ways preferred being able to work without billing concerns, and felt they were able to practice better medicine without insurance companies dictating things. Two of my favorite doctors did not take any insurance. They spent time getting to know my entire situation, and I felt like they were partners in my health care, rather than dictating to me.

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10 Answers

cwilbur's avatar

I know a psychologist who originally started her practice not taking insurance, because she didn’t want to have to deal with the constraints.

After about two years, she started taking insurance, because she was struggling. The number of people willing to pay up-front for mental health care is tiny compared to the number of people who have insurance that will pay for health care. What she found is that she makes less per patient, but she has a lot more patients, and the constraints imposed by the insurance are usually ones she can work within.

Her practice is now thriving, and she doesn’t seem to regret the decision at all.

JLeslie's avatar

@cwilbur but psychologists are not ordering tests, writing perscriptions, not told they should be doing an appointment in 15 minutes (I don’t know if that is still being done by the HMO’s) it might be a little different. I am not a doctor, I am just guessing.

cwilbur's avatar

@JLeslie: She does educational evaluations and counseling for struggling kids. The HMOs put an incredible amount of pressure on her to keep appointments short and few in number and to refer the kids to psychiatrists who will prescribe medication.

JLeslie's avatar

@cwilbur interesting. And, from how you worded that she doesn’t like that part, the pressure, which I assume is “business” related, or better said money related somehow for the insurance company.

I don’t want people to think I am arguing against or for insurance or universal care, or any of those political questions up for debate now, I’m truly just interested in how it works and how the docs feel. All of the “systems” would have some pressures I think. Of everything proposed, probably the only true way for a doctor to work freely would be in a true open market.

DrBill's avatar

There are a lot of test that need to be done, that never are because the Insurance company won’t cover them.

Insurance co should be in the insurance business and leave medical decisions to the doctors.

cwilbur's avatar

@JLeslie: Except that the open market has its own pressures. The doctors might be able to work freely, on that percentage of the population that can afford to pay up-front for medical care, but where does that leave all the other people?

Waiting 12 hours in the emergency room and skipping out on the bill because they can’t afford to pay it, that’s where.

Flo_Nightengale's avatar

Do we have medical doc here on Fluther? I would love to know their opinions.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Ive been in the care or been friends with many doctors or other medical professionals over the years, not one has been in favor of ‘reform’ when i asked.

medicalgeneralhicks's avatar

Yes I fell that companies have caused me not to be able to treat my patients in the way I would have wanted it otherwise. Also I have had patients that have come into my office that really needed treatment or needed medications that I could not give them due to the sad fact that they could not pay for it. I do not thank that just because someone can not pay for the treatment or medications they need, they should be turned away. That even goes against the Oath We that as a Medical Doctor. I will Not turn anyone away that needs something from me as a Doctor. I have had a lot of problems doing this but it is worth it when you look into that girl or boy, man or woman’s face when they know you have just saved their life. WE as Doctors need to look at the person not some number or just as a pay check. My Personal Thought is if a Doctor regardless of what type Just looks at the people that need him/her as just another number or pay check should not have even gotten into this line of work because Like it or not. We NEED to be there when they need us the most.
Thank You
Scotty Hicks

Flo_Nightengale's avatar

@medicalgeneralhicks it’s wonderful to know there are docs like you still around. We need more like you. Thanks!!

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