In response to Dr. Ronald Bronow's letter (Aug. 9) about the "second-rate brand of medicine" offered by HMOs, I happen to practice in a Southern California health maintenance organization and feel lucky to be a part of it.
The physicians in our group have the highest of qualifications and are a good mixture of experience with youth. The work-ups are complete and because of the cost-effectiveness of a large HMO, we are able to offer preventive tests and exams that many private insurance companies would not pay for. Preventive medicine is the direction we all should be aiming for to keep health costs down.
As far as his accusation that HMOs do not provide good service to the poor, we see a large number of Medi-Cal patients. Although the physicians do have access to the codes, which inform us whether the patients have Medi-Cal, private pay (yes, Dr. Bronow, many people even PAY to join HMOs) or are under a corporation policy, most of us have not bothered to learn the codes and most do not care. All patients are treated equally.
I think Dr. Bronow feels his livelihood is being threatened by a system that provides excellent medical care more efficiently with less provider profit than he is willing to accept.
Sorry, Doctor, but HMOs are a healthy alternative in the deliverance of expert medical care.
KATHERINE BRUBAKER MD