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Restraining Doctors Isn't the Answer
Stephen Hoffman, a practicing physician, writes on the difficulties faced by doctors when dealing with insurance companies, medical malpractice, and prescription drug prices. Hoffmann argues that doctors need more discretion to determine the right treatment for their patients, without needless oversight from insurers and the omnipresent fear of lawsuits. His suggestions for less restraint might be applied across the board in the health care industry, for the benefit of doctors and patients alike.
Physicians must draw attention to a system that too frequently disregards what individual patients often need. Insurance companies, understandably pressed to control escalating costs, are deterring doctors from providing individualized care under the guise that such restrictions constitute guidelines for quality. We're graded for how well we follow these limits, as if scoring high is a mark of clinical excellence rather than a measure of our contribution to a company's bottom line. Patient care suffers in the process.
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