Doctors and Patients Getting Separated


Health Insurance providers seem to be getting in-between doctors and the patients they have seen for years. Some companies are dropping independent physicians in favor of hospital systems. Seth Denson of GDP Advisors says, "Blue Cross Got their hand slapped because they were found to be kind of working with the local hospital system to steer their patients away from local independent physicians."

According to Yale Professor Jacob Wallace many Medicare managed-care programs are contracted out to private, for-profit insurers such as UnitedHealthcare that are looking to create returns for shareholders. The Texas Public Policy Foundation David Balat agrees and says “Insurers' business plans are getting in the way of the doctor/patient relationship,”

Health Insurance companies like United Health Care are dropping doctors from their coverage. Patients who are tied to their insurance are losing long-time relationships with their physicians.Denson says this is nothing new. "Insurances companies from time to time reevaluate contracts with physicans groups. A lot of times they are trying to position themselves in a better financial status."

The Texas Public Policy Foundation says "Health care decisions shouldn't be made by insurance companies - or the government either." The group is challenging the Affordable Care Act with a coalition including the the attorneys general from 20 states. The U.S. Supreme Court will review the case next year. In the meantime, patients are left to find new relationships.


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