The writer of the April 16 letter, “Lots of blame for health cost,” does not know charity when it is given to him. Physicians do more charity work than any other profession in the world and he got some.
Baby Health, Surgery on Sunday, Nathaniel Mission are just a few of the organized free care provided in this community. Physicians who take care of an uninsured patient in a hospital or an emergency room generally don’t get paid and cannot even write off that care as a business expense.
Physicians do not gouge insurance companies. They are contracted by the insurance company at a certain rate for each procedure or service. These rates vary by each insurance company, which can change rates with little or no notice to the physician.
That care is sometimes very expensive. But not to offer it is unethical, if not malpractice.
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There is an increase in morbid obesity, acquired diabetes and unhealthful lifestyles. Defensive medicine (now the standard of care) adds enormously to the cost. Everyone gets a helicopter ride and a CT scan, because if there is any minor delay or missed diagnosis, someone will pay; if not with money then with their time and emotional turmoil.
Dr. J.M. Moore