When patients visit a doctor, they rely on that doctor’s instruction and recommendation. They trust that the man or woman in the white coat with multiple diplomas on the wall of their office has the knowledge and experience to guide them to better health. If a doctor recommends heart surgery, they trust that is the proper course of action.
But what if the doctor is more interested in the financial health of their practice than their patient’s health? Within the health care industry, some procedures are more “rewarding.” Cardiology, as one doctor notes, is a “big moneymaker.” An active cardiology practice can produce a substantial amount of income for a doctor and their hospital. Even if the procedures are unnecessary and produce adverse effects on the patients who receive them.
Questions have been raised concerning one cardiology practice in Indiana, due to some problematic issues. For one, the practice has three of the highest billing Medicaid cardiologists in the state. And some patients have found their health improves once procedures done at the clinic are undone.
The New York Times reports they are now being sued in numerous private malpractice lawsuits and the Indiana state Medicaid program and the U.S. attorney’s office appear to be investigating the clinic.
The draw of big money is why one famous bank robber is said to have robbed banks, and it is always a concern with medical services that produce large reimbursements for doctors that some of the procedures are driven by a profit motive and not to care for patients.
When a patient visits a doctor, They want the doctor to see them as a human being in need of care, not as potential dollar signs in the accounts’ receivable ledger.
Source: nytimes.com, “A Small Indiana Town Scarred by a Trusted Doctor,” Julie Creswell, October 17, 2015