Letters from our readers
As things change, private practice remains the same
In “No matter pressure applied, independent physicians will survive” (First Take, April 25), that 80-year-old physician who stated private practice will survive is absolutely right.
The reason is today’s healthcare is fueled by greed: from hospital corporations, pharmacy benefit managers, insurance companies, and the government. And greed breeds more greed-it is inevitable. And then the goose that laid the golden egg gets killed and what is left standing is physicians like him and myself (42 years in practice).
I’ve seen it all before. The practice of medicine has been around since the ancient Greeks. There is nothing new as it’s all been done before and still the private practice remains essentially unchanged: one physician and one patient doing what has been done for thousands of years.
Dennis Grollo, MD
52 years in private practice and counting
Thank you for the editorial “No matter pressure applied, independent physicians will survive.” I have been in my private family practice for 52 years, practice full time, and like what I do. I am also a former chief of staff of Blount Memorial Hospital. It recently purchased a 50-member East Tennessee medical group, and to admit patients they must go through ED and, if admitted, on to the hospitalists.
Access to care is poor and many people are surprised when at times I actually answer my phone. Yes, I even find time to garden, play tennis, be on the local school board, and even recently published a book “A Family Doctor’s Journey and Diversions along the Way.”
Robert “Bob” Proffitt, MD
Three ways Congress can empower patients, lower costs
Mr. Martin: I enjoy your [First Take] editorials a lot. My colleagues, our patients, and you need to remember all the problems we have are the fault of the Congress who know exactly what to do to empower patients and lower costs.
1. allow insurance to be sold across state lines;
2. turn all mandated state insurance coverage into cafeteria plans so patients can get what they want, not what vested interest “vendors: and their lobbyists have mandated; and
3. increase HSAs to whatever patients desire.
The first change alone would probably solve the cost and empowerment issue. Personally, my conversion to a concierge practice has changed my life. Keep up the good work.
Finley Brown, Jr., MD