By Marc H. Lavietes, M.D.
Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Letters, July 17, 2015
Mergers of large health care facilities such as that proposed by Barnabas and Robert Wood Johnson are occurring across the country. They are facilitated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but are ruinous to the delivery of affordable quality health care.
Mergers are the antithesis of a “free market” delivery system, establishing networks that limit the choices for both physicians and patients. Administrators rather than physicians may dictate length of visits, fees and often choices of therapy.
For the patient, mergers mean less face time with their physicians, more costly and often unnecessary testing, occasional denials of costly but indicated procedures or treatments and in general higher costs. There are winners in this equation: mergers predictably bring about industry profit and higher CEO salaries.
We should not forget that major portions of the ACA were crafted by industry consultants while medical expertise was largely ignored. All other industrialized countries minimize these shortcomings a with regulated delivery system accompanied by single-payer financing, similar to Medicare. Medicare has served for 50 years to provide high quality health care to our seniors while controlling costs. Medicare should be for all.
Dr. Marc H. Lavietes resides in Bradley Beach.