AMA Reaches Out to Doctors To Remind Them Patient Welfare Must Come First As Rising Pressures From Insurers and Hospitals Can Su
Posted Dec 27 2012 10:50pm
This went out as a reminder as many more doctors are working directly for hospitals and some have “goals” they somewhat enforce as the pinch for money and profits grows. Doctors normally get paid a salary from a hospital with a bonus tied in somewhere, the old pay for performance routine that insurers sell shareholders on as far as promising productivity. Doctors’ sometimes get their salaries reduced too if they don’t meet goals.
In addition private practice doctors are facing the inability to keep practices open and some band together to partner to help share expenses of an office. In the meantime in addition to not knowing if they are going to get hit with a cut from Medicare, insurers such as United make unwelcomed statements about looking at doctors pay for savings, not what the doctor ordered. Businesses show no or little compassion outside the dollar these days so again the AMA is reminding doctors to not get caught up in the Money ball doctors contracts that upset everyone.
Also recently the AAFP found that United was paying doctors in several areas of the US, less than Medicare so if any group has reasons for frustrations today it’s the doctors. Some contracts also prohibit doctors from working for competitors after they leave a hospital and the AMA recommended to be wary of such contracts and again keep in mind that patient care comes first.
With as much heat as the FDA takes Commissioner Margaret Hamburg also made similar statements in her address (video at the link below) this year to the graduating class of Einstein Medical. When you start seeing such messages over and over it appears to be a sign of the time of how difficult it is these days as a doctor to keep everyone happy on both sides.
Most doctors I know always keep the patient up front but again they have challenges with getting referrals and approvals right and left for patients, I used to hear it all the time. BD
WASHINGTON — With hospitals buying up medical practices around the country and seeking to make the most of their investment, the American Medical Association reached out to doctors this week to remind them that patient welfare must always come first and not be overridden by the economic interests of hospitals that now employ doctors in ever-growing numbers.
“In any situation where the economic or other interests of the employer are in conflict with patient welfare, patient welfare must take priority,” says a policy statement adopted by the association.