That was snoqueen that claimed HMO's make money off drug prescriptions.
I simply posted the link attempting to prove MD's are rewarded with gifts for prescribing certain drugs over others.
Either way, I still feel it compromises their ability to be completely neutral, objective and have the patient's best interests in mind.
And I haven't replied further because I agree with what was said here. There's no question MDs get premiums from drug companies.
I really didn't want to post a rant, but since this one won't die, I will. This entire system is riddled with problems that definitely affect people's well-being. I was not surprised to read the pain-killer-scrip story upthread. I'll add another one, in fact.
A major part of the business model of HMOs is to minimize MDs' contact time with patients (scheduling four or more appointments per hour) and send as many people as possible away with a prescription so they don't come back and waste more appointment time. These are not necessarily in the best interest of the patient, especially when things get complex, more than one prescriber is involved, and/or the person is not knowledgeable or able to advocate for him or herself.
I have seen prescriptions written (for a family member I was responsible for) that, once I got home and researched the drug, were either irrelevant to the problem or specifically counterindicated.
A pain prescription was written for my elderly mother (now deceased) that just about killed her. Later, when we checked the specifics, we learned that drug was specifically listed as not
to be prescribed for patients over 75. She was 90. Fortunately, we elected to stop using it and sought other medical advice, and in time (over several months) she started eating again on her own and regained her independence. That one was written for back pain!
She got a lot more than she bargained for -- the stuff was so strong she was hardly able to move and her respiration rate dropped way down. Very poor prescribing but no surprise -- with back pain they mostly want you to go away, because it's rarely life-threatening.
After that crisis I took over, and I got very, very thorough about reading every detail on the drug handout and asking lots of questions. We had several other instances, before mom died, where after some discussion, prescriptions were reduced or even not written. And at the end we learned she was still being sold inappropriate drugs.
When my mother eventually qualified for hospice care (at a ripe old age) the first thing the hospice doctor did was go through her list of prescriptions. He informed us over half of what remained were left over from conditions that had long since been resolved, and should be dropped. One I remember in particular was to preserve my mother's eyesight, which actually had been entirely gone for more than a year. Even with my own vigilance, Medicare was paying for several irrelevant (or potentially harmful) prescriptions each month.
I became very cynical about the business model of HMOs and even of the Medicare system, which is necessary but definitely ready for a tune-up. HMOs are only tangentially in the patient care
business. They are first of all one-stop prescription dealers especially with regard to elderly people and others with insurance.
That's how they make their money, just as I said.