is it about money?
From: Mary Wade (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tue Sep 12 06:06:38 2000
I read a sentence or two about how surgeons are paid for adhesions surgeries
on one of the sites that Helen found for us. It mentioned in passing that
the long hours that the surgeons have to spend to carefully remove adhesions
are not reimbursed at attractive rates for the docs. I wonder how big of
influence this has on the treatment that we receive. I realize that these
may be fighting words for some of you, but as one who works in a surgeon's
(not an abdominal surgeon) office, I see how long and difficult surgeries
can drain the energy of the docs. It is demanding work. Their arms get
tired. It's not glamorous. And then to not be paid well for the time
spent? And to be involved is a high risk procedure that often does not
produce the desired result, thus setting themselves up for legal action?
What, then, would motivate them to do these surgeries? If the "adhesions
don't cause pain" stance can be taken, or the patient can be referred on to
a pain clinic, or referred on to another doc, then the first doc is perhaps
in a better position both legally and financially. We have a book at the
office that tells the prevailing rates that insurance companies pay docs for
their procedures. I'll have to look and see what adhesion related surgeries
I can see this whole thing so unemotionally from the other side because I
work in this setting. It would be hard to see it without emotion if I
hadn't been on the other end. It's so rewarding and delightful to work with
patients that you can "fix." It's time-consuming and emotionally draining
to work with patients who can't get the relief that they want. Human
compassion keeps us "being there" for them, and that has its own
bitter/sweet (90% bitter and 10% sweet) rewards.
In summary, if I was a doc in the US free enterprise medical system, I
wouldn't want me as a patient.