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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The "Original" Dr Portnay

I'm not the only Dr Portnay. The "original" Dr Portnay is an Internist/Endocrinologist working in the Boston area. He's one of the smartest clinicians I know. He has been my teacher for the past 39 years.
Here is a copy of his letter to the editor that was recently published in The Boston Globe.
YOUR ARTICLE "Mass. recasting health payments: Officials draft plans for new system to compensate doctors, hospitals'' (Metro, Sept. 27) is correct in that we need new ways to pay for health care. The proposed system of global payments sounds and appears attractive, but it reminds me of the managed care (HMO capitation) that we had in the 1990s.

Under that system, physicians were criticized for being so-called gatekeepers, and were blamed for limited care probably because it cost physician capitation dollars. Patients became angry at their primary care physicians for limiting access to care that patients thought they needed or wanted. This system failed miserably in spite of the cost savings.

My question to those advocating global payments for care is: How will this be different?

Dr. Gary I. Portnay





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