Letters to the Editor



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Health system struggles while insurers profit To the editor: The recent column in your publication about affordable health care has as its author one of the most highly compensated CEOs in health care (“It’s time to work together for affordable health care,” by Larry C. Glasscock, New Hampshire Business Review, Feb. 17-March 2). It has been widely reported that he recently had an annual stock-and-cash bonus awarded, to be paid over a three-year period in the total amount of $42 million. It is therefore disingenuous, at best, for him to talk about working together. The physicians for whom I work have malpractice rates which have skyrocketed, but the fixed reimbursement rates from large insurers, such as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, remain relatively steady. Automated medical records are being talked about as one way to reduce the cost of care, but small group practices such as mine simply cannot afford the price tag. Perhaps Wellpoint could consider underwriting that cost for small group practices. Outpatient health care involves an interaction between physician and patient, but because the insurance companies have inserted themselves into the equation with individuals like Mr. Glasscock taking an inordinate amount of compensation, both patients and physicians suffer. Until the overwhelming power of these giant insurance companies is contained, which is unlikely under the current administration in Washington, everyone who can afford to will continue to pay exorbitant health care premiums with huge out-of-pocket expenses for what is, in fact, very limited coverage. This allows Mr. Glasscock and his friends to make the compensation they do, while the rest of us continue to struggle, and more and more patients become willing to risk not having insurance at all. There can be no quick fix for the broken system of health care in this country authored by any large insurance company, and those whose unforgivably large compensation packages are involved should recuse themselves from the discussion. Susan Blatz Administrator Women’s Health Associates of Portsmouth

 

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