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Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

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  • Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

    I had not heard of that. The medical industry is crazy in terms of how it's financed. It's far too expensive. Every month, I pay my family's $390 insurance premium and wonder what the money goes for. I went to the doctor last week for the first time in a long time - at least $4000 worth of time. She spent the same amount of time as my last visit - 10 minutes max. I kept wondering if I was getting my $4000 worth. To add insult to injury, the visit still cost me an extra $30 copay. What the heck?!?!? Who's getting my money? It makes you wonder, until you notice all the companies that are related to the medical industry that actually have NOTHING to do with making people healthy (insurance, lawyers, etc.). Think about all the shiny buildings that those companies are in. I drive by them every day on my way to work. Think about all the nice cars in the parking lot. Someone's paying for all that. Oh yeah, that would be me/us! Makes me sick. ;-) In my firm, we have clients that are decent-sized medical groups. One way they get paid is via HMO. They get money if patients DON'T go to the doctor/hospital. The doctors are deathly afraid of an outbreak like Sars or West Nile, or even a flu epidemic, because it can bankrupt them because they have to pay the costs when their patients come in. IMHO, it's out of control. Your example is just one more indication, although it's not surprising that the rich will get better care. Brian

  • #2
    Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

    Looks like open market place. When your income goes up do you upgrade your life style? Is there a point where upgrading your life style with the income YOU EARN is BAD?

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    • #3
      Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

      Just where do you want the government to step in? To limit YOUR income? Or to limit the DOCTORS income? Which one?

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      • #4
        Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

        If you're asking me, I dunno. I just know that I'm not getting what I pay for. Perhaps someday I will make it up (acutally, I hope not), but that's then and this is now. Since it's healthcare, people will always be willing to pay whatever they have for it. Health is more important than wealth. However, that doesn't mean that we can't get more bang from the bucks that we spend by eliminating waste/fraud/abuse. Not sure how to do that, but I'm sure I'm not getting my money's worth. And in Chuck's example, if those boutique docs cause a brain drain of regular docs, the regular docs salary will go up and the market will equalize. Brian

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        • #5
          Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

          A few scenarios to consider - 1) If I am indigent and have no insurance I go to the local charity hospital. 2) If I have insurance "A" I may have to go to hospital "A" or doctor "A". 3) If I have insurance "B" I may be able to go where ever I please. 4) If I want the luxury of boutique medicine and can afford it I get it. I have no need for options 1 and 4. I have the choice of options 2 & 3 and choose option 3 because that is what I want - even though it cost more. Option 4 is simply another luxury available to those who want and can afford it. This same thing applies to everything in life - houses, cars, etc. I see no difference. Just my 2. Joe

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          • #6
            Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

            I had not heard of the concept, but I think it is interesting. The downside is that it could lead to a greater bifurcation of medical services than already exists. In many states, such a practice may stretch the bounds of legality as regulations vary from state to state. Doctors do have a difficult time with malpractice insurance. It takes a long time to establish a successful practice. The services offered by the medical profession may offer a great deal of good, and doctors certainly deserve a high salary. OTOH How high should high be? Doctors are given fantasic perks by the pharmaceutical industry, and enjoy certain tax write-offs. When you see a car with MD license plates, is it always better than yours? It sounds like California is embarking upon an experiment. Time will tell if the results are worthwhile. Dave

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            • #7
              Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

              "It sounds like California is embarking upon an experiment." Not just California. I live in Alabama and this made news several months ago when a local doctor announced his intentions to open a "boutique". Joe

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              • #8
                Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

                I read something about this a couple of years ago. It was about practices starting to do preventative care for the wealthy ( I use the word wealthy with great respect). Do we forget the spin off benefits from the space program. You and I are probably never gonna take that flight, but we sure benefited from them. Don't you think there will be a few spin off's and down's for us from what is learned in these cutting edge Dr. offices. I never thought a bunch of programmers would ever be so class oriented and welfare minded. No, we can't afford everything. If we did, then everything would stop, and nothing would go further....and what a dull place that would be. Sign me up for the flight to the place where there is always something bigger and better than I have, and please don't remove it until after I find a way to EARN enough money to get one.

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                • #9
                  Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

                  I've always wondered exactly what costs so much in health care. Is it Doctor's salaries, malpractice insurance, cost of equipment,drugs,or what? Does anyone know for sure? Our company's health insurance went up 44% this year!!! So much for any decent raises because our company is footing most of the bill and we're struggling as it is.

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                  • #10
                    Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

                    luvmypt, My allergist says that 50% of his GROSS income is devoted to malpractice insurance. After that he has the office overhead and staff overhead. It's not cheap to be a doctor. He does make a nice living, but he has to work considerably harder and doesn't reap the high net income of the doctors of yesteryear. This, according to him of course. As to medical insurance. My company pays for my coverage (PPO) but not dependants. The dependant coverage costs me about $800 per month. chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer. "luvmypt" wrote in message news:6ae8bb44.8@WebX.WawyahGHajS... > I've always wondered exactly what costs so much in health care. > Is it Doctor's salaries, malpractice insurance, cost of equipment,drugs,or what? Does anyone know for sure? > > Our company's health insurance went up 44% this year!!! > > So much for any decent raises because our company is footing most of the bill and we're struggling as it is.

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                    • #11
                      Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

                      There is a disturbing trend in medicine these days called boutique medicine. If you haven't heard of boutique medicine here's the premise... A successful and well established doctor is tired of the rat race. He spends about 50% of his income on liability insurance. He needs to keep a practice of about 3,000 active patients in order to make money. He must see about 15-20 patients per day, do a hospital run and be on call. The doctor only spends 5-15 minutes per patient per visit. Getting into see a doctor requires almost a 3 week wait. When they get successful they get burned out. So, what they do is turn to boutique medicine. Here's how it works. Boutique medicine requires patients to register with the doctor in order to stay with him as a patient. When the patient is registered they can see the doctor almost anytime they want. The patient can have 30-45 minutes per visit to really discuss their problems. The doctor guarantees that he, or his coverage, will meet you at the hospital if you need to be admitted. And, if you call in, you can talk directly to the doctor instead of a nurse. The doctor's active patient list is reduced to about 600 to support all of this. No new patients are accepted unless a registered patient leaves. The catch? Each registered patient must pay $1500-$2000 per year to be a patient. This is a fee that is not covered by any insurance. This fee only allows you the privilege of being a patient. It does not go toward any medical coverage. All other fees for office visits, etc. are still charged to the patient. I've seen a number of local doctors opt for this route as it gives them a much better life style. It's a fine alternative for patients that can afford it. However, if you are elderly and have 4 or 5 doctors this can be a little pricey. Imagine an elderly couple each with 4 doctors paying $2000 each. That's an additional $16000 out of pocket just to have the privilege to pay more to see the doctor. It's a trend that takes the best doctors out of general circulation and makes them available only to the wealthy. My wife works at a doctor's office and 2 of the 3 doctors in the office are leaning toward boutique medicine in the next year. What do you think? chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer.

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                      • #12
                        Disturbing trend: Botique medicine

                        Chuck Ackerman wrote: My allergist says that 50% of his GROSS income is devoted to malpractice insurance I have heard similar stories. It would be curious to get beyond the anecdotal, and find out the reality. Personally, I could accept a large cost-of-doing-business if at the end of the day, I could afford the same amenities that I witness belonging to members of the medical profession. Dave

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