Profit Sick Motive for Patients’ ‘Ally’

* Shame, shame on Andy Slavitt and the rich backers of his new company designed to put the financial screws to physicians and hospitals everywhere via the Internet [“Firm Seeks to Be Patients’ Ally on Health Care Costs,” California Dealin’, Oct. 18].

Just because managed-care and insurance companies have strong-armed medical service reimbursement to absurd lows by treating medicine as a commodity doesn’t mean that jumping on the bandwagon will serve patients well. The facts have proven direct linkage between the cutting of reimbursement to the cutting of quantity and quality of time and patient care.

It would be one thing if Slavitt and the investors who ponied up $4 million were forming a nonprofit organization to serve people who truly can’t afford to pay their medical bills. However, financial need is not a criterion for obtaining help from his company. Plenty of morally bankrupt people who could and should pay their medical bills will see just how little they can get away with paying with Slavitt’s help. And, he and his investors intend to make a profit off of this. Sick.

I encourage physicians everywhere to resist playing ball with Slavitt. Physicians have a right to be paid in full and they surely deserve it.