Patients are our primary concern


Fam Pract Manag. 2003 Oct;10(9):12.

To the Editor:

While it is in society’s best interest to keep hospitals solvent as suggested in “Seven Ways to Help Your Hospital Stay in Business” [May 2003, page 27], our primary obligation as physicians is to the patient we are treating at the moment. We are already expected to manage their finances by finding the cheapest drugs, the cheapest tests, etc., and to manage their insurance by knowing what is covered, who is covered and how to advocate when claims are denied. Given these ever-increasing responsibilities, we may not want to change how we manage their hospital care. It will cost a patient with chest pain the same amount to be admitted overnight to rule out MI as it would to stay two days and have a cardiac catheterization. Let’s face it, the system is broken.


Send your comments to fpmedit@aafp.org. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.


Copyright © 2003 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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