My dad’s wife called to ask if I could see a friend of my brother’s. This 30 year old woman had been “put through the ringer” by her HMO dermatologist. He looked at her nose diagnosed a “pre cancer” and treated her with freezing. Then he put her on a cream. The “wart” is still there and she can’t get in to see the doctor (actually a physician’s assistant) for 2 months.
Welcome to capitation medicine.
This evil creation of your local managed care plan pays a doctor a fixed fee to take care of a group of patients. It is sold to the doctor as “money for nothing”…no, not the Dire Straits song. The doctor then is paid nothing additional to take care of you. He has an incentive to ignore you (as he keeps the money) and none to care for your issues. The amount paid per patient is pretty low….like a couple of dollars. The doctor only makes money if he doesn’t provide much care. This is the evil part as far as I am concerned.
I have been very hesitant to deal with capitation medicine. This woman’s health insurance coverage will pay nothing toward my involvement as I am a non-Provider. That’s what you get with mangled care.
*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*