All inquiries for research and information about thyroid cancer and thyroid disease in Orthopaedic Surgeons, doctors and or nurses, can be directed to Dr Peter Dewey, Research Co-ordinator, Australian Orthopaedic Association, PO Box 12, Arncliffe NSW 2205, Australia.

Dr Dewey is particularly interested in medical practitioners and nurses who have been diagnosed with any form of thyroid disease, or other cancers which could be related to recent findings as described in an ASOS Press Release – Concern raised over possible link to thyroid cancer in hospital settings

Managed Care an Update

On a recent visit to the USA I had a chance to speak to American Orthopaedic Surgeons about Managed Care. The bad news has gotten worse. Consider the following:

  1. As the insurance company not the patient is responsible for paying the doctors account many doctors have to gain approval prior to seeing a patient … this may involve your secretary spending 20 minutes on the phone to an insurance provider. Multiply this by the number of patients you see in a day and this will tie your staff in knots for hours.
  2. A colleague of mine working for Kaiser Permanente (an HMO) was unhappy that a foot x-ray took 45 minutes to do. He voiced his concerns to the practice manager and was told that he was an “employee just like the radiographer and that he had no right to criticise her”. He resigned shortly afterwards.
  3. Corporate America is brokering healthcare without a stroke of government intervention, Health insurance company executives are being paid bonuses by the tens of millions of dollars. This money is obtained by restricting services to the patient and by cutting fees to their doctors.
  4. Litigation against Managed care plans is on the increase as patients are being denied treatment.
  5. Many employers change plans for their employees each year. The untenable situation arises when a postop patient is no longer covered by their plan or when a patient with a chronic disease can no longer see their treating doctor.

We don’t want America’s gun laws and we don’t want their health system. If you are offered a Managed care contract “Whatever you do, just don’t sign.”

Dr John P Negrine
National Secretary
Australian Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons
(March 1997)