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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Well Point,rat-out-patients,and capitation

A number of medical blogs, including Health Care Renewal which contributed this essay have commented on the recent revelation of the dear doctor letter from Well Point requesting information from physicians regarding pre-existing conditions and their patients.

In a world where so often nothing seems to make much sense we tend to leap upon and devour ravenously a narrative that makes sense to us and explains what otherwise is a mystery.

The otherwise mystery arises in this story from the revelation that apparently such letters had been sent in large numbers and for some time and only now does a physician make public a indignant complaint.No one is surprised that a physician would complain.It seems to be a dog bites man type story.But why not before? Dr. Rich offers an explanation that resonates in our "that makes sense" gyrus located in some obscure site in the frontal lobe.

The docs who didn't complain after receiving these letters apparently were in a capitation payment system. The less illness they take care per patient the more money they get to keep. Read Dr.Rich's full entry to see how all of this seems to fit with the grand scheme of covet rationing. The story as it is unfolding looks like a "drop a dime, earn a dime situation".

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