Dr. Rosanne Iversen: Patient care declining | SteamboatToday.com

Dr. Rosanne Iversen: Patient care declining

As a physician I want to provide the best care available to my patients. I also want to receive the best possible care when I am the patient. We’re all on the same team.

During the past three decades, I have endured the same changes to the health care insurance system as everyone else. As a provider, I struggle with those changes every day. Insurance companies are exceeding their boundaries by dictating quality of patient care. Their motive is corporate profits; my promise is to employ best medical practices, ensuring patient wellbeing.

Years ago, I attended a conference related to containment of rising health care costs. The predictions were accurate. We are now living the truths that were shared. The Affordable Care Act implemented some improvements, i.e., mammograms, colonoscopy, annual physicals and protection from denial for pre-existing conditions, but it does not solve the problem of rising cost.

The provider reimbursement I receive from insurance companies has steadily decreased, while I read the personal salaries of insurance company CEOs is steadily increasing. Patient care is on the decline because companies demand that my office justify and defend every test and protocol for every patient. Premiums are accelerating while quality of care is diminished.

This is not happening in a vacuum. My colleagues and patients both share these concerns. The current system is failing me both as a provider, and as a patient.

Medicine will continue to change. We can passively allow the insurance industry corporations to dictate quality of care, or we can stop complaining and choose the cooperative model that is available to us through ColoradoCare (Amendment 69). I encourage everyone to review the program at coloradocare.org.

Learn how this alternative health care delivery system will impact your family. Calculate your expenditures, and compare the benefits to your current options. For most people ColroadoCare is less complicated, less expensive and more efficient.

Is it perfect? Probably not, but we have never had access to a perfect system. Let’s return to placing health care decisions in the hands of patients and physicians, not insurance clerks.

Rosanne Iversen, MD

Steamboat Springs

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