Undisclosed location, TN writes:
I 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.
Sorry, this was already a Seinfeld episode . . .
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.