Impact Of Manged Care Essay

1094 words - 5 pages

Debra Rivenbark
Impact Paper

Managed Care has affected the doctor-patient relationship in many ways. For one thing, it has limited the choices patients have about which doctors they see. This has led to some tensions between doctors and patients. Another thing that has created some resentment is that many doctors have had no choice but to participate with HMOs and have had to settle for lower fees as a result. Providers are being held to higher standards, more closely monitored, and are restricted in the care they can give their patients due to coverage rules. This can cause hard feelings on the part of the patient. Before managed care, the doctors were very independent and patient care ...view middle of the document...

The restrictions on the referrals doctors can give also has both positive and negative consequences. It can reduce spending on individual, local, and national levels and that is a good thing. However, it can also keep patients from getting needed care at times and make for some very unhappy patients. It takes a high level of trust in a physician to take her or his word that you don't need a particular service when you strongly feel that you do. Most patients do not have that level of trust with their doctors for the reasons listed above. The trust issue goes both ways since patients now have far more power to harm their doctors through whistle blowing and lawsuits than they once did. Many doctors are so distrustful that they practice defensive medicine and send patients to specialists when it is obvious it is not needed. Most patients don't appreciate this either.

Because there are so many patients in the system and so many regulations, both patients and doctors may feel at times like they have little room to exercise their own judgment and this can cause frustration on all sides. Once most doctors were personally acquainted with their patients and cared for them in their own homes or small offices. Patients paid for services themselves as care was much cheaper and many doctors took other forms of payment in a pinch. These days, there is a third party almost always involved in regulating physician services as well as paying for them. This takes away from the personal aspect of the doctor-patient relationship.

This does not mean, of course, that all doctor-patient relationships are strained and impersonal. Many people have positive and trustful relationships with their doctors. Some have managed to stay with the same doctor for long periods of time in spite of network restrictions. I have personally been with my doctor for 16 years. He delivered my son and we have both been his patient since then. When he switched networks, we did too. He knows my history and my son's history and that means a lot. It helps us trust him to provide adequate care. When I...

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