Magazine article Medical Economics

Letters to the Editors

Magazine article Medical Economics

Letters to the Editors

Article excerpt

Kudos for the doctor boycotting managed care

Gynecologist Lisa Underwood, who scrapped all of her managed-care contracts, never learned how to play the MCOs' game ["Dump managed care? This doctor did," April 28]. She's absolutely right; managed care and quality don't mix. She gave her patients far more care than their $10 copayments could have covered.

Good luck to Underwood.

Charles Davant III, M.D. Blowing Rock, NC.

I'm among the thousands of physicians who have experienced the same HMO reimbursement problems that Underwood did. Managed-care plans say, "When we have to investigate a claim, that will delay payment." But when they investigate so many claims on a routine basis, that appears to be an overt plan to delay payment. And their promise to otherwise process claims within five days of the billing date is complete fiction.

If Medical Economics were to poll physicians, it would find that managed-care reimbursement hassles are a universal problem, certainly not limited to Arizona or to Underwood.

Michael D. Lockwood, D.O. Associate Professor Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine Kirksville, Mo.

Underwood's approach is the only practical, moral solution to managed care's dominance. Non-participation is the most powerful weapon doctors have against the MCOs. As long as we refuse to sacrifice our values and pride, we'll never become slaves.

I bought my practice from a retiring physician who didn't take Medicare assignment or participate in HMOs. Though I've had the practice only a year, it's already financially stable. …

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