I saw what was happening to the practice of medicine when managed care corporations started replacing clinics some 30 years ago. Physician decisions were being denied by the recently graduated MBAs who were more interested in cutting costs than providing good patient care.
I wrote Modern Medicine to tell the story of how hospitals, health maintenance organizations, insurance companies, and lawyers were forcing physicians and nurses to change the way they delivered health care. Doctors and nurses knew how these corporate bean counters were destroying health care. We wanted patients to know too.
What we wrote about 30 years ago has come to pass in spades. Whether health care is a right or a privilege is irrelevant. We are the only developed country which does not provide basic health care to each and every one of its residents.
Think about it.
At that time, I thought that with some discussion of what was going on in health care, consumers would be able to take back control of their health care system. I concentrated on three main players in the takeover of the healthcare system:
- corporately controlled medical facilities,
- health insurance companies, and
- lawyers and the malpractice industry.
Unfortunately, consumers have been unable to stop the flow of the control of physician decision-making largely because physicians have increasingly become employees of these organizations instead of independent practitioners.
Today there are many, many books available on the high cost of health care in the U.S. and many proposed solutions. This book provides both history and story about how physicians were pushed aside in the takeover of their profession. The only solution is for physicians to take back their practice of medicine.
In her blog The Treating Physician, Diane Haugen has continued her discussion of the dismantling of a health care system in which physician make medical decisions into one where unlicensed gatekeepers in corporations make the decisions.
This book is a reprint of the original, before Direct Primary Care offered physicians an opportunity to take back their ability to make health care decisions with their patients. Although first published in 1992, this book provides the history and background which explains why Direct Primary Care is so critical to any health care reform today.