Friday, February 08, 2013

The Exodus Begins

Big, important doctors are leaving medicine.

Like Steve Ondra,MD, a neurosurgeon and principle physician architect of our new health care law, the Affordable Care Act.

And where's he going?

Why to Chicago-based health insurance giant Health Care Service Corporation, parent corporation of Blue Cross / Blue Shield Illinois, of course.  It seems Dr. Ondra's stint as a real clinical neurosurgical doctor at Northwestern wasn't enough.  Instead, he'll be going to greener pastures as Health Care Service Corporation's top clinical executive, overseeing the medical coverage for 13 million members in Illinois.   By the way, this company also operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico and is acquiring the Montana plan.

It seems providing health care really is for the little people now.

But even more concerning for other patients, in my view, is the loss of an exceptional Chicago-based primary care doctor who is leaving clinical medicine, Dr. Jordon Grumet.  Dr. Grumet, who eloquent and insightful writing appears at his blog In My Humble Opinion, portrays the type of physician we'd all like to have as our own.  Sadly, it appears the days where the primary care doctor and patient actually have a personal relationship are quickly coming to an end.

Yes, Virginia, the times they are a changin.'


h/t: Bryan Vartabedian, MD


Jay said...

Read Jordan Grumet's next post after the announcement:


At the end, he leaves a strong hint that he may be going into concierge medicine:

"How can I, a physician responsible for twenty five hundred people, spend an extra hour on nonclinical administrative work for each admission? Maybe I could handle that kind of workload if I was taking care of a patient population a tenth of the size.

Hey, wait.

There's an idea. "

Still a loss to the 2250 patients who lose a good doctor.

As I've said before, one of the universal truths seen as we move into EHR and Meaningful Use is that doctors see less patients. Is that a good thing?


Anonymous said...

No I don't think so Jay, Look again at his blog :) He has chosen his specialty.


vanderleun said...

" Is that a good thing?"

Those who ask this, even if being rhetorical,have yet to understand the depth of the evil we're sliding into. But they will. They will.

Jay said...

Psssst - SCRN and Vanderleun ---
That question wasn't for you. I was kinda setting a trap for the wonks. Don't blow it.

Spend a little time following the #Meaningfuluse or #HITPolicy hashtags and it's easy to see what we're up against.


P.S. Any there any wonks following Wes? Please speak up.

Anonymous said...

What's a wonk? We saw the first exodus of docs when the whole HMO, PPO, etc. came out about 25 years ago. My son's pediatrician joined an group practice in which my rival medical healthcare facility did not honor on their health insurance coverage. My son's always seen the same doctor, no matter who paid. But, still.