Doctors-the Pitfalls of Practicing Medicine by the Bottom Line

The Bangor Daily News published a thoughtful and courageous article authored by Dr. Philip Caper concerning the reasons why healthcare in this country is in the state it’s in right now. The article was entitled, “The Ills of Money-Driven Medicine” and squarely lays the blame for the healthcare mess on the increasing focus on profit margins in the practice of medicine.
Dr. Caper recently attended “Avoiding Avoidable Care” a conference on the state of the healthcare profession. Here’s an excerpt from the article, “We spent two days discussing the reasons for and ethics of unnecessary medical care in the U.S. Instead of blaming others (such as patients or malpractice lawyers), the doctors at this conference mostly agreed that “If you’re looking for an explanation for medical care overuse — too many tests, procedures and prescriptions — follow the money.”
The amount of overuse was estimated to be around 30 percent of all medical care. We spend $2.7 trillion annually on medical care in the U.S. Thirty percent of a big number is still a big number, about $800 billion in this case. In our industrialized health care system, moving “product” is important, whether or not it is really necessary.”