I read with great interest Dr. John M. Southwell's (May 16 letter) regarding "restricting access to costly tests and referrals to highly trained and paid specialists" with reference to patients in HMO programs. The implication was that this was his experience at Kaiser.
I have been a family physician within the Kaiser organization for 10 years. I have never been dictated to, countermanded or restricted to provide timely, reasonable and potentially costly tests, procedures or referrals for my patients. The medical needs of my patients accompanied by prudent judgment dictate the appropriate use of medical intervention. I am salaried, and there are no financial incentives for me to withhold any appropriate and rational medical care to my patients.