The Doctor Payment Follies


The NY Times editorial of June 6th bemoans the “unfettered fee-for-service payments  for unnecessary and costly tests and procedures.” This will not change in the near future since it is very lucrative for doctors.  But perhaps we as patients can control some of these practices.

In my own experience my primary care physician strongly urges me to see a cardiologist because I have atrial fibrillation. He essentially want me to take Coumadin.  I will not do this because I have read the literature that says that women over 70 will not only not benefit from this blood thinner but may be a great risk for strokes. Nevertheless when I come in to his office for a refill of synthroid he always wants to do a cardiogram. Even though I will not accept the treatment he recommends.  So I refuse the test.

That is what patients need to begin to do.  Become knowledgable about their conditions and learn about which procedures and tests are of benefit and which are only revenue producing.

Incidentally I did see a cardiologist who agreed with me. No need to take Coumadin.

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