Physicians should return to direct pay system

October 25, 2013

A reader writes that physicians can eliminate payer interference by reverting to the pre-Medicare system of being paid directly by patients.

Hear, hear to Craig Wax, DO’s thoughts. (“ACA: It’s not what the doctor (or voters) ordered,” August 25, 2013.) Government-owned healthcare only works to the point that catastrophic injuries are covered, but for the day-to-day patients that we see, it doesn’t work.

I don’t understand why physicians are slow to accept how payment was made pre-1965 as viable for the business portion of practicing medicine. Patient comes in, pays for the visit, is given a receipt, and submits it for payment.

If physicians switch back to this form of payment, then we can say bye-bye to interference from payers as to how we practice. No more nonphysicians dictating which medicines, which tests, etc. Then we can get to true meaningful measures on the care of patients instead of insurance deciding.

Lawrence Voesack, MD

Odessa, Texas