This entry below comes from the Authentic Medicine Blog edited by Douglas Farrago, M.D.
He brilliantly points out that time of Big Brother is here. The government and insurance companies are third parties that have been inserting themselves into the once sacred doctor:patient relationship for decades. While they had always claimed that they are not practicing medicine or telling doctors what they can or cannot do for their patients, they really did. If they refuse to pay for something, that thing will likely not get done, especially because the prices are overinflated because of the administrative cost of dealing with insurers.
They are now taking it a step further. Now Medicare wants to punish doctors for ordering a test that could be valuable in detecting cancer at an early stage in men. There is no doubt that the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test for prostate cancer screening is not perfect, and its use is controversial, but shouldn’t the decision whether or not to do it be between a doctor and his/her patient after an informed discussion of the pros and cons?
Actions such as these are precisely the reason why our practice has opted out of Medicare and other third party payers. We will work directly with and for our patients and be their advocates and partners in maintaining their health. Together, we decide what is best for them without asking the government for their permission.
Ironically, if you don’t use an insurer to pay for the test, it can be obtained for a small fraction of the original price. We call that the free market.
My only fear is that the powers that be will try to turn the free market into the black market. I often question whether or not their goal is not to improve the health of the population as much as to control the population by means of using the health care system as a weapon.
Michael A. Ciampi, M.D.
4. Don’t Order That PSA
Nov 22, 2015
I find this to be amusing. Imagine a scenario where if you order a test on a Medicare patient that you get PENALIZED for it. Well, that is not some fantasy. News has come out that the CMS is pushing this new type of stick training program where they will penalize doctors for doing something they don’t like. The “move by Medicare would be part of a federal effort to define and reward quality in health-care services”. Do you see how this trojan horse worked? Under the guise of the bogus term “quality” the government now controls how you treat and test and deal with patients. Remember, once the government starts something then the insurance companies are not far behind.
There is a positive side to this. A PSA test is only a few bucks (wholesale). But it doesn’t have to be the PSA. There are tons of tests that the government won’t let you order now already. How about vitamin D? There is no symptoms of it but 90% of us are low. If you order that now then your patient has to pay. So what? It costs about $25 (wholesale). My point is that when you walk from the system then the only one deciding what test to order is you and the patient. So, by all means, let the government keep doing this overreaching tactic. It only makes me laugh.