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Disappearing Doctor

May 05, 1991

It is unfortunate that, despite numerous studies praising the quality of care provided by many prepaid health-care systems, Siegel chose to perpetuate the tired old cliches that prepaid health care is typified by assembly-line medicine and financial gatekeepers more concerned with turning a profit than providing patient care.

By tarring all HMOs with the same brush, Siegel fails to mark the differences in structure, ownership and motivation among managed health-care systems.

In a group-practice HMO such as Kaiser Permanente, physician-partners are not subject to the direction of nonphysician administrators. There are no rules or policies that mandate a gatekeeping role. On the contrary, our physicians understand that prompt, appropriate medical care is also the most cost-effective care.

FRANK E. MURRAY, M.D.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP

Pasadena

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