Physician questions practices
Your article about concierge doctors was disturbing to me, an internist practicing in Dallas for almost 40 years. A physician cannot tell whether a patient has strep throat by looking at a picture of the throat; even my wife, a nonphysician, knew that.
Multiple studies have shown that you cannot differentiate viral from bacterial infections of the throat without a culture. In addition, the child might have had infectious mono, and treatment of strep throat with amoxicillin could cause a rash in up to 50 percent of the patients treated, if mono is present. The patient should have been sent to an urgent care center for a throat culture/mono spot test before treatment was prescribed.
I am also disturbed to see a picture on your front page of an office manager running blood work. This should be performed by a trained lab technician. Finally, the practice does not accept insurance and encourages patients to get “catastrophic insurance.” This is bad advice, as the cost of primary office care is only a tiny fraction of the cost of medical care. Their patients should have been encouraged to carry regular health insurance.
Dr. Neal L. Sklaver, Attending, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas
The article on “concierge doctors” at best further illustrates the gap between the health care reality of the working poor and middle class, and those who can afford $1,000 a month so they can immediately see their GP whenever the need arises.
At worst another distraction from the reality that most Americans just don’t grasp — most are one day away from financial disaster that comes with a diagnosis of cancer or a severe injury. Few understand how quickly the bills pile up into the six-figure range. The out-of-pocket costs consume your savings and next you have to choose between selling a car, your house and dipping into your retirement.
The political ideologies and platitudes decrying “government-run health care” or “socialized medicine” become meaningless when you have a loved one with a life-threatening disease. So it’s really nice that a Park Cities mother can get her baby’s sore throat “diagnosed” by cellphone.