Letters: Readers comment on Medical Economics stories

January 23, 2009

Quality ratings, legislating morality, technology challenges

Rantings and ratings

Not all doctor rating sites are the same ["The rating game," December 5, 2008]. I created http://www.DrScore.com as both a tool to help doctors get valuable feedback from their patients and as a way for patients to freely get more information about doctors. The goal is to enhance the quality of the overall health-care experience. Our patient-satisfaction reports provide the doctor with a wealth of information about their practice-information they use to improve their services or to show insurers the quality of their service.

I have found the feedback from my patients to be instructive in helping me strengthen my patient relationships. I think all of our participating offices would wholeheartedly agree that the feedback we receive from our patients is critical to our success as doctors.

DUPED BY HYPOCRITES

Physicians and physician organizations have been duped by the do-gooders in leadership and congressional representatives about the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and physicians ["Drug makers to reveal payments to doctors," Update, November 7, 2008].

The restrictions imposed by current legislative bodies and organizations are a mockery and insulting to the intelligence and integrity of physicians in general. Morality cannot be legislated, and attempts to do so have been ill-conceived and poorly executed. And the attempts have been from those with hypocritical attitudes and intentions!

JOHN TYSON, MD
Denison, Texas

PUSHED TO EXTINCTION

The end result of regulation is a punitive experience, as more mandates and less money to implement them are only conducive to a passive response of acceptance ["FTC delays enforcement of ID theft regulations," InfoTech Bulletin, November 26, 2008]. One day, American politicians are going to wake up wondering where the doctors went.

ENRIQUE PORRAS, MD
El Paso, Texas

3 QUESTIONS REVISITED

What a breath of fresh air from Dr. Scherger ["The 3 tech questions," November 21, 2008]. We're seeing medical groups collapse as a result of ill-considered EHR decisions. My doctor's system even let him write a prescription for me that could have killed me. Positive answers to Dr. Scherger's three wise questions could have prevented some really dumb moves on the part of some of the case studies we're collecting.

The insightful queries bear repeating: Does the technology improve a core function of my care of patients? Does this technology make financial sense by improving efficiency or quality, and will it generate revenue? Will I be able to evolve with it, since it will only last about three years?

JEFFREY J. DENNING
Practice Performance Group La Jolla, California