Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mega Clnics

Wife went back to the eye-doctor yesterday, complaining of headaches around the eyes. She and the visit reminded me of something that I forgot to post regarding needed changes in the medical profession.

Economies of scale has pressured doctors to join large practices. The one we went to yesterday was one such facility. There is a whole floor of the hospital medical office building dedicated to a single eye care entity. There must be 20 doctors in this group and it's a maze of waiting rooms, paper pushers and examination rooms.

I don't mind it much because the doctor is wonderful. But I wonder if all of the regulatory paperwork and HMO procedural hoops are making the doctors to come together like this so that they all share a single staff that handles billinng, insurance, etc.

Contrast this with the experience earlier this year visiting the neuro-opthamologist.

She was a doctor, doing business as the sole proprietor. The only doctor in the office. She had a small and capable staff and just 3 exam rooms I believe. Definitely got the impression from those visits that we were not just a number. In fact, it felt like visiting my small town general practitioner in days of old. We got our 8:15 AM appointments, got there on time and "Wham-bam-thank-you-maam" were on our way again in less than a half hour.

Didn't even pay full fare to park in the hospital parking deck either!