THCB

ACA Database: The Doctor Is a Monopoly

Undisclosed location, TN writes:

flying cadeuciiI have a concern that some of the medical specialty groups of physicans in my area are forming their own monopolies. They are joining together in a way that patients can no longer have access to a new physician if they feel they are not getting the care they need or are not comfortable with the physician they chose.

The [ name withheld ] or [ withheld ] Tn. is one of those groups.

I had been seeing one of their physicians for a number of years and had wanted to try someone else for a long time before I actually tried.  I was told that I could not see any other physician in the group.  When I then tried to go elsewhere, I discovered their group was the only game in town.  I called several hospitals to try and find a doctor.  They all named this one group.  There were a lot of physicans, but they were all connected to the group.  I then tried Maryville only to find, they also were part of this group.

My cardiologist tried to get me an appointment only to be told they could not see me.

I don’t know if the release of information that people have to sign in order to be seen by a doctor has now backfired on us.  If you are a patient of anyone that is a partner, you cannot get an appointment.  If you don’t choose right the first time, you do not get a second chance.

I experienced this again when I tried to choose a different hand orthopedic doctor from the one that had done surgery on my right hand. This would be a good way for them to get rid of any patients that are going to be on Medicare.  I had been a patient for many years in both of these practices. These doctors promised to “do no harm”.

They are harming their patients with this practice.

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lawyerdoctorWilliam Palmer MD Recent comment authors
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lawyerdoctor
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lawyerdoctor

Sorry, this was already a Seinfeld episode . . .

William Palmer MD
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William Palmer MD

But the hospitals and the insurers are often monopsonies. A monopoly on the purchasing side is a monopsony and these cause social dead-weight loss also. Economists don’t like either but sometimes one facing the other results in a market that works OK–not the best–but OK.