Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

Physicians' Roles Explored in Periodical

Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

Physicians' Roles Explored in Periodical

Article excerpt

Most internists serve several roles - personal physician, consultant, and comanager of patients with medical problems. Why, then, don't all health plans and payers recognize the multiple-role capacity of internists? Why should internists be prevented from performing procedures for which they have been appropriately trained? Why do many plans require internists to serve as either primary care providers or subspecialists but not both?

In the April issue of The Internist: Health Policy in Practice, published by the ASIM, these and other physician workforce issues are explored.

Frank A. Riddick, Jr., M.D., a practicing internist and former chief executive officer of a 400-physician multi-specialty group practice in New Orleans, outlines the problem from a historical perspective. Dr. Riddick explains how internal medicine arrived at the current situation, and how his group approaches the challenge of providing personal physician services in a managed-care environment.

According to Stanley Feld, M.D., a practicing endocrinologist in Dallas, the best primary care physician for patients who have chronic, complicated disease often is a subspecialist. Unfortunately, when reformers are trying to cut costs, "the subspecialties of internal medicine are caught in the crossfire," says Dr. …

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