Texas Medicine Letters: September 2013

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 Letters – September 2013 

Don't Promote ACOs  

The Texas Medicine cover from July 2013 features a corporate logo (inappropriate) and a splash that claims ACOs in Texas are controlling costs while improving quality (unproven at best). You didn't even bother to put a question mark at the end of the statement "Controlling Costs While Improving Quality."

If I want an advertisement for dubious payment schemes designed to disadvantage good doctors and their unsuspecting patients, I can listen to Mr. Obama or Kathleen Sebelius, or one of the hundreds of "experts" on health care who have never seen a patient, taken call, fought an insurance company, or tried to run a practice.

ACOs are coming. TMA did not design them. But to promote them on the cover of TMA's official magazine is unfortunate to say the least. I sent a similar letter 20 years ago when Texas Medicine had a nearly identical article on HMOs. How did those work out for us and our patients? I have to wonder if the editorial staff of Texas Medicine can place the implied blessing of every physician in Texas on the once-per-decade schemes designed to further degrade our profession, our practices, and our ability to independently care for our patients. We are engaged in a war for those things, not just for us but for future generations (the caretakers for us and our families when the time comes).   

ACOs are yet another thinly disguised weapon in the hands of hospitals/insurance companies/businessmen to take medical and financial control away from patients and doctors. We shouldn't bolster those entities by gracing them with a "seal of approval" from TMA. I hope you really like that cover because it is going to be stock material for the offices and informational folder of every ACO in Texas and beyond.

 Keith D. Fisher, MD, Fort Worth


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Published: 8/21/2013 08:48:04 AM