We Treat Every Patient Who Comes to Us

From the Wall Street Journal:

Narrow networks created by the insurance companies are driving out-of-network claims higher and placing the patient in the middle of the controversy between insurance companies and clinicians (“Surprise Medical Bills Stir Tension,” U.S. News, July 9). Our fellow doctors treat every patient who comes to a hospital emergency room, including a substantial number who have no ability to pay us. We do that because it’s the law and it’s why we became emergency physicians—to help people at some of the worst moments in their lives. How many businesses would give away their products or provide free services to many customers, while allowing others to pay whatever they want? How many insurance companies provide coverage to members who don’t pay their premiums or pay whatever the member thinks is appropriate?

Given our ethical and legal obligation to treat all patients as compared with the increasingly limited coverage offered to our patients by the insurance companies, we seek fair coverage for our fellow emergency department providers and medical staff members who provide care for patients treated in the E.D.

William C. Schumacher, M.D.

Lafayette, La.

Dominic Bagnoli, M.D.

Canton, Ohio

(Drs. Schumacher and Bagnoli are co-chairs of Physicians for Fair Coverage Ltd.)

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