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Letter: Patient care isn’t a priority in the ‘value-based’ model

Patient care isn’t a priority in the ‘value-based’ model

Recently, Independent Health announced its decision to drop CCS Oncology because it wants to move from “fee for service” to a “value-based” payment method. If you read summaries of these two systems, you will immediately recognize that they vary in one important way. The “value-based” model clearly stipulates that the purpose of the health care system is to turn a profit. It uses insurance company statistics to set cost limits. It pays bonuses to doctors willing to lower costs at the expense of patient care.

Of course, health care costs are through the roof. A reasonable person might point to the huge increase in insurance company profits over the past years as one cause. Independent Health concludes that the problem is that doctors are trying to do too much for their patients.

Such tactics have already forced Buffalo Cardiology Group out of business. I want my doctor to put patient care as the No. 1 priority. I want my doctor to be empowered to provide reasonable tests and treatments. Instead Independent Health wants to threaten doctors’ livelihood if the insurance company’s cost estimates are exceeded.

John Burgholzer

Amherst

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