Primary care doctors need financial independence

I’ve often given doctors too little credit when it comes to business decisions.

But, in an op-ed published at Reuters, physician Ford Vox argues otherwise.

He notes that doctors, indeed, have tremendous business sense:

How can anybody say that doctors don’t have business sense, when not only do most American physicians forge their way in small private practices, but new doctors lay their cards on the table every year? The competitiveness of residencies, where doctors train to become a pediatrician or a cardiologist, correlates strongly with the field’s earnings potential.

Insurance companies usually intercede when it comes to financial transactions between doctor and patient.

Instead, why not let doctors have more control over health care dollars, instead of wonks and administrators who have little clinical experience?

Health insurers use nearly one-third of premiums before spending on health care delivery. Dr. Ford contends that “it’s time to boost the rank and responsibility of primary care physicians by handing them the source of insurance company power – the money.”

Government officials and health insurers pay constant lip service to the importance of primary care. The only way to truly back up their words is to ensure primary care has the adequate financial resources and independence to do its job properly.

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