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KSL’s recent editorial encouraging physicians to "re-enthrone basic humanitarian principles like empathy and compassion and understanding" into modern healthcare, prompted an outpouring of responses.
A common theme of the replies: blame insurance companies and HMO’s, not doctors for a system that seems preoccupied with "the bottom line."
From Brock L. Place, a healthcare administrator, came this:
"The fact of the matter is that healthcare providers are held ‘hostage’ by third party payers who are intent on preserving their profitability at the expense of healthcare providers."
A physician, Dr. Douglas C. Bankhead, wrote:
"Asking you ‘What kind of insurance do you have?’ is not an attempt to restrict your access to medical care or a demonstration of the lack of ‘empathy and compassion and understanding,’ but rather protects you from the unnecessary burden of having to pay out-of-pocket for medical services."
Karlene Ator, a doctor’s wife, reminded us of the long hours physicians work and the debt many incur during years of education:
"Do you know of any other profession where the person providing a service is told by someone who isn’t even trained in the profession what they can charge or what services and treatments they can provide?
KSL thanks these folks and the many others who responded on this hot-button issue. And we remind you that a more complete text of the replies can be found on our website at www.ksl.com.