On insurance companies


Fam Pract Manag. 2000 Feb;7(2):14.

To the Editor:

Insurance companies now have another way to shirk payments on lab tests. Since our practice, like others, has many insurance companies to deal with, the companies know that a mistake will eventually be made when we confuse which of the four or five laboratories we should send a patient's labs to. If a mistake does occur, the insurance company doesn't have to pay! The labs make the patient responsible, who in turn makes the doctor's office responsible for the bill, according to the contract.

This business strategy is as insane as if a store clerk were held responsible for customers' bills. That company wouldn't stay in business long.

Obviously, I feel that insurance companies should pay for their clients' bills, but that makes too much sense in today's business of medicine. Today is the day of insurance companies exploiting doctors. They are eroding the patient-physician relationship — the greatest joy of medicine. I pray for the day doctors and patients regain control and push insurance companies into the role for which they were created.

Thank you for “your ear” for the family physicians of America.


Copyright © 2000 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact fpmserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Nov-Dec 2020

Access the latest issue
of FPM journal

Read the Issue

FPM E-Newsletter

Sign up to receive FPM's free, weekly e-newsletter, "Quick Tips & Insights."

Sign Up Now


Tobacco Cessation Telehealth Guide

Smoking cessation counseling and pharmacotherapy options are cost-effective ways to help patients quit smoking. Learn the role telehealth can play in your practice’s efforts, along with billing, coding, and documentation tips.

Understanding and Improving Risk Adjustment in Team-Based Care

Understand the basics of risk adjustment and how it is used in value-based payment (VBP) arrangements. Learn strategies to thrive in VBP and risk-adjustment models to optimize payment while providing high-quality patient care.

Incorporating Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Into Practice

Incorporating alcohol screening and brief intervention benefits your patients and family medicine practice. Follow these steps to reduce risky alcohol use by choosing a screening test, establishing a practice workflow, and appropriately coding and billing.