[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
56°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 18
1929 - Swift justice: Thomas Vernon sentenced to life in prison for Saugus train derailment & robbery 1 month earlier [story]


Commentary by Gene Dorio M.D.
| Monday, Dec 14, 2015

genedorioTwo decades ago, I admitted a patient to the Intensive Care Unit for a heart attack. His children were grown, and he looked forward to retirement and purchasing an RV to relax and travel the country with his wife.

Invasive cardiac technology had not evolved, so he remained in the ICU on intravenous medication to control his symptoms. On the fifth hospital day, his wife brought a letter from the insurance company denying any further payment in the unit. His conversation the next two days centered on this letter, and as you might suspect, the stress exacerbated his heart attack and he died.

Nowadays, it is commonplace for insurance companies to deny doctor ordered care with a simple explanation: “not covered.” Medication is changed without physician authorization, diagnostic procedures are denied, and hospitals pressure doctors to discharge patients, sometimes too early.

The public must wonder why educated professionals are now marginalized in medical decision-making within their own field.

Government has always been leery of business involvement in medicine, with legislation to prevent unscrupulous profiteers affecting patient care. Laws enacted to protect the public and ban the “corporate practice of medicine” (CPM) are overseen by states, and therefore they vary throughout the nation.

In California, hospitals generally are not allowed to hire or directly employ physicians for fear it will taint their medical judgement. Control of doctor salaries, pay raises, bonuses and retirement might lead to coercion that compromises care.

Healthcare corporations, including hospitals as well as insurance and pharmaceutical companies, are wealthy special interest groups with swarms of lobbyists influencing state legislators. With vast media PR, they have convinced the public of their solution to control spiraling health care costs. Protective CPM laws have been whittled away distorted by healthcare corporations as “archaic” and “detrimental” to advancing patient care. They want shareholders to benefit while the public suffers.

Interference in doctor decision-making is now more profound in all aspects of medicine. Specifically, templated strategies have been crafted by hospital lobbyists and administrators legally to avoid the appearance of physician-controlled employment. Instead they have signed contracts with doctor groups (ER on-call specialists, radiologists, pathologists, anesthesiologists, cardiologists), controlling them financially and often influencing patient care.

With this also comes internal political influence. The physician medical staff is recognized legislatively as being independent and “self-governing,” but votes to elect leadership are shepherded by administrators toward those doctors who reside under their influence.

Controlling this leadership is a goal of hospital administrators. With this power comes the ability to eliminate physician whistleblowers through sham peer review; hiding unfavorable statistics; setting harmful policies and procedures; establishing distorted criteria and standards; and filtering complaints from doctors and hospital staff. Ultimately, it establishes an autocracy without democracy.

The corporate practice of medicine is really the corporate control of medicine. This is why doctors are marginalized in decision-making, yet the public has not grasped this reality. On the horizon, medical care will only deteriorate as these healthcare corporations further erode protective CPM laws.

To what degree must the public be financially assaulted with increasing premiums, larger deductibles, non-covered medical fees and outrageous hospital bills before they say “enough?” And when will we realize the complex legalese and barriers placed before us when we are told: You cannot choose your doctor; you cannot go to a specialist; you cannot have a CT scan; you must change your medication; etc.?

The corporate practice of medicine is overwhelming American healthcare and will only worsen until it is recognized by physicians and the public.

 

 

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D., is a housecall geriatric physician on staff at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital and has been engaged as an advocate in many community activities. The views expressed in this column as his alone.

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

6 Comments

  1. Judith Pinto Judith Pinto says:

    Dr D is one of the very few whom genuinely care for our seniors.

  2. Camie says:

    SB 277 woke me up to this! I am really sorry. Doctors should be able to work eith their patients with out feeling threatened.

  3. Carole Lutness says:

    Very good article. Of course, we need “Medicare-for-All” health care like every other developed country in the world. Because the Corporate Thugs control ours we are ranked 37th in the world for health care outcomes despite spending 1/3-1/2 more than any other country. California has had a number of excellent bills that have had wide public support which have been defeated because the For-Profit HMOs/Big Pharma just won’t allow it and our legislators are too afraid to go against one of their major benefactors. Our system is going to have to collapse before Americans finally wake up. All we’re doing is making the Rich Man richer while he does everything he can to deny treatment.

  4. Linda P. says:

    Very informative article. I fully agree. It must be frustrating to be a physician these days, being guided by corporations.

  5. Nice dr Doris get the message out

  6. I know I worked with him he’s fantastic

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Dec 18, 2018
Imagine going to the grocery store, picking up the items you need for the week, but not knowing how much anything costs until the store sends you a bill two weeks later.
Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018
It is hard to believe that 2018 is already coming to an end.
Monday, Dec 3, 2018
In her December message, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste wishes residents a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and details some fun family events coming up.
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018
Most people with Medicare will pay the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which will be $135.50 next year, an increase of $1.50 over 2018. Your Part B premium is based on your income. People whose tax returns show income equal to or higher than $85,000 pay higher premiums. These income-adjusted premiums apply to about 5 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries.
Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
It makes good sense to review your coverage each year. Make sure your plan still is a good fit for you in terms of cost, coverage, and quality.
Thursday, Oct 4, 2018
Local entrepreneurs, industry leaders and business owners are looking for employees who can communicate clearly, whether writing or speaking; effectively collaborate on teams; and quickly make decisions that benefit both the company and its customers.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Los Angeles County Fire Department posted an exam bulletin Tuesday for a priority recruitment of paramedics.
LACoFD Looking to Fill Vacant Firefighter Trainee, Paramedic Positions
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the initiation of a comprehensive review of the Woolsey Fire response and recovery.
County to Initiate Woolsey Fire Comprehensive Review
SACRAMENTO - As Californians travel this week, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is set to begin its Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP). This additional enforcement is intended to further ensure the safety of the motoring public during the holidays.
CHP Readies for Maximum Enforcement Period
The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival will hold a special production of a holiday story of generosity, "Wali Dad, the Grasscutter."
Dec. 22: ‘Wali Dad, the Grasscutter’ Free Children’s Performance
Enjoy light appetizers, live music and meet the artist Skye Amber Sweet, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 6:00 p.m. at Old Town Newhall Library, during an artist reception for her exhibit, "Embracing Growth."
Feb. 5: Artist Reception for Skye Amber Sweet
Imagine going to the grocery store, picking up the items you need for the week, but not knowing how much anything costs until the store sends you a bill two weeks later.
How to Lower Your Surgery Costs | Commentary by Greg Dill
Edison International has awarded the College of the Canyons fire technology program a $25,000 grant in support of the college’s development of present and future fire personnel.
COC Among 5 Schools to Receive $25K Fire Technology Grant
LOS ANGELES - Three hundred forty-seven feature films are eligible for the 2018 Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday.
Nearly 350 Feature Films Eligible for 2018 Best Picture Oscar
La Mesa Junior High School has been nominated for a Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase Schools award for the 2018-2019 school year by the Flippen Group. Four and a half years ago, school administrators began an initiative to transform the campus into an emotionally safe and relationally connected place for students, staff, and parents to come together with a love for learning.
Local Junior High School Nominated for National Award
Foster care and foster-adoption are meaningful ways for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting. There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.
Jan. 12: Children’s Bureau Informational Meeting
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a coalition of 12 states and the city of Chicago, filed comments urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw its proposed rule gutting 2016 standards that limit emissions of methane and other harmful pollutants.
State AGs Urge EPA to Withdraw Proposed Rule Gutting Emissions Standards
Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control is offering discounted pet adoptions at its seven county animal care centers.
County Offering Discounted Pet Adoptions Until Dec. 31
1929 - Swift justice: Thomas Vernon sentenced to life in prison for Saugus train derailment & robbery 1 month earlier [story]
As directed by the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 11, the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative has launched the process to develop FY 2019-20 Measure H funding recommendations.
County Sets Schedule for Homeless Initiative 2019-2020 Budget
The inspiration for "All Eyes On Me," Jaya Kang’s (CalArts Art BFA 20) recent third-year mid-residency show at CalArts, was a collection of craft kit "googly eyes."
‘All Eyes On Me’: Q&A with CalArts Student Jaya Kang
For any fan inside The MacArthur Center on Saturday night, catching Hansel Atencia's alley-oop pass would have necessitated a ladder suitable for stapling Christmas lights to a one-story duplex.
Men’s Hoops: TMU Mustangs Turn Up Defensive Pressure to Win
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday announced shortlists in consideration for the 91st Oscars. in nine categories.
Academy Unveils 91st Oscars Shortlists in 9 Award Categories
The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (9-3) rolled on Saturday evening, defeating the Eagles of Northern New Mexico College (1-12), 101-49, in intercollegiate NAIA women’s basketball action inside the Pioneer Event Center (PEC) in Lancaster.
Women’s Hoops: Pioneers Defeat Northern New Mexico in 101-49 Blowout
The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers cruised to a victory Saturday afternoon, defeating the Cubs of the University of Los Angeles College of Divinity, 96-71, in intercollegiate men’s basketball exhibition action inside the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster.
UAV Men Cruise to 96-71 Win in Home Exhibition with ULACD
Facing their third NCAA opponent of the season, the University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (8-3) suffered a defeat at the hands of CSU-Fullerton (7-4) Friday evening, losing to the Titans, 77-65, in intercollegiate women’s basketball action inside Titan Gymnasium in Fullerton.
Women’s Hoops: Pioneers Clash with Titans of CSU Fullerton
A 22-year-old woman was arrested early Monday morning for allegedly burglarizing a vehicle in Canyon Country, according to authorities.
SCV Deputies Arrest Vehicle Burglary Suspect in Canyon Country
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health offers tips for a healthy holiday season that include receiving the flu immunization, enjoying festive treats in moderation and making healthy choices.
County Offers Tips for Healthy Holiday Season
The city of Santa Clarita has updated the list of productions shooting in the city and the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Dec. 17-23, 2018.
‘Goliath,’ ‘AMD,’ ‘BAB,’ ‘Suits’ Spinoff Now Filming in SCV
New laws approved by the California Legislature in 2018 will affect roadway safety in several ways, including helmet use on bicycles and motorized scooters, hit-and-run on bicycle paths, modified exhaust systems, and enhanced safety for refuse collection vehicles.
CHP Notes New Bicycle, Roadway Safety Laws
America’s teens report a dramatic increase in their use of vaping devices in just a single year, with 37.3 percent of 12th graders reporting “any vaping” in the past 12 months, compared to just 27.8 percent in 2017.
Survey: Teens Using Vaping Devices in Record Numbers
With the New Year just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles wants to inform the public about several new laws or changes to existing law that take effect Jan. 1, 2019.
DMV Reminds Motorists of New 2019 Laws
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station arrested a man and woman from Bakersfield on multiple drug and identity theft charges in Newhall early Saturday morning.
Bakersfield Pair Nabbed on Drug, ID Theft Charges in Newhall
The California Department of Transportation has accelerated pavement rehabilitation on the northbound No. 3 lane on Interstate 5 in Castaic to provide all four lanes through the construction zone to accommodate holiday traffic.
Caltrans to Reopen I-5 Lane in Castaic for Holiday Traffic
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released its roundup of crimes reported in Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) between Nov. 18-Dec. 2, 2018.
Crime Blotter: GTA, Burglary, Heroin Possession in Stevenson Ranch
The California Air Resources Board on Monday adopted a regulation establishing a statewide system for mandatory annual emissions reporting for stationary sources.
CARB Adopts System for Reporting Air Pollution from Stationary Sources
1839 - Judge John F. Powell born in Galway, Ireland [story]
1902 - Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali), Gen. E.F. Beale's Syrian camel driver, dies at Quartzsite, Ariz. [story]
1987 - Incorporation: Santa Clarita officially becomes a city [story]
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday denied the Trump Administration’s attempt to block California's lawsuit challenging the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
Court Denies Feds’ Attempt to Block California AG’s Census 2020 Lawsuit
Award-winning musician, philanthropist and CalArts School of Music namesake Herb Alpert and his wife, famed vocalist Lani Hall, will perform a holiday concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles on Thursday night, Dec. 20.
Dec. 20: Herb Alpert, Lani Hall Holiday Special at Disney Concert Hall
The 20th annual Animation 'Show of Shows' mini-festival has opened at theaters in Los Angeles and New York this week, and three of the films selected are directed by CalArtians.
CalArts Animators Featured at 20th Annual ‘Show of Shows’