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Monday, August 11, 2003

Posted by Tanstaafl
Devalued Doctors (washingtonpost.com)

This is a fairly disconcerting anecdote. She doesn't even mention malpractice insurance costs. There's an incentive problem. I would still go with the straight A's over the three-point shot, but I wouldn't recommend practicing medicine to anyone. Business or law school sound like better options. I think one of the things that needs to happen in what's called managed competition. A Stanford professor named Alain Enthoven is a big proponent of this. The idea is that governments and businesses create much bigger lists of insurance plans from which their beneficiaries/employees can choose. Right now there's a bit of an oligopoly. A few plan providers dictate prices to doctors who won't get any business if they don't accept the prices and won't make any money if they do. If there were more plans from which to choose, the doctors would only sign up for the plans that would allow a profit. Patients would choose those plans from their companies since they would have the most physicians. As long as the economic power is the hands of just a few insurance providers, they will squeeze their profits out of the doctors.


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