A grim future lies ahead for medicine: “How many doctors are telling their children to go into medicine? How many doctors are taking courses to administer Botox, eliminate varicose veins, or perform other cosmetic services not covered by insurance? How many tests are being ordered as part of defensive medicine because of fear of a malpractice suit? How come the number of uninsured or poorly insured persons are increasing at an alarming rate? Does the public realize that the doctors or the companies that might employ the physicians who see the uninsured patient in the emergency room will most likely not get reimbursed?”
Op-eds like these, accompanied by increasing mainstream media attention to the financial plight of physicians, are needed to introduce the business side of medicine into the national health care conversation.
Physicians need to become more comfortable talking about money. Medicine is a business, and it’s good to see some doctors finally starting to accept this fact and take control of their profession.