Physicians Who Care 10615 Perrin Beitel Road, Suite 201 San Antonio, Texas 78217 Contact Information: Ronald Bronow, M.D. 310-656-5692 or Kathryn A. Sutton 210-656-7636
Physicians Who Care Announces Goals For 1998-1999: To oppose ERISA and to expand its educational activities
Physicians Who Care, a national non-profit organization that was founded more than ten years ago to defend patients rights, recently announced that one of it main goals this year is to oppose ERISA.
On the PBS program Life and Times and in an essay on the Physicians Who Care Web page, Bronow says, "HMOs are now brainwashing physicians into becoming robodocs." Dr. Bronow explained, "With this indoctrination accomplished, physicians routinely lie to patients about the need for testing, surgery or consultations. Previously, good doctors are now corporate puppets. The puppeteers have had great success in pulling the strings of their physicians. We in Physicians Who Care believe that every physician should be allowed to do his or her best." Dr. Bronow emphasized, "We do not accept capitation, an immoral and unethical mode of payment, where physicians are rewarded for providing less care."
Physicians Who Care's second major goal is to expand its patient education program. Physicians Who Care has been the major national physicians organization to organize and educate patients in its auxiliary organization Patients Who Care. Members of Physicians Who Care can sign their patients at no cost as members of Patients Who Care whose current membership is approximat ely 30,000 The patients are activists and are a powerful weapon in the fight for quality health care and patients' rights.
At the current time, Physicians Who Care has a well-known presence on the World Wide Web sites. The sites have received the attention of national media and have received many awards, including the Times Pick from the Los Angeles Times for their HMO page. The Physicians Who Care page averages over 1300 hits a day. The HMO page serves even more with an average of more than 2900 hits a day. The third one, the MSA page receives almost 200 hits per day. In a few weeks, Physicians Who Care will add a fourth page designed especially for patients. Dr. Seth Spotnitz, a past president of Physicians Who Care, who manages the Web pages said, "We are excited about our new 'patients' site and believe it will receive even greater attention than our current pages."
To browse Physicians Who Care's Web pages got to the following addresses:
http://www.pwc.org/ http://www.hmopage.org/ http://www.msapage.org/
In addition to its Internet sites, Physicians Who Care maintains a managed care hotline that patients who are experiencing difficulties with HMO or insurance companies may call. Every call is answered. Guidelines and a list of resources are sent to patients. Dr. Stephen C. Cohen, out-going president of Physicians Who Care said, "We have helped thousands of patients through the red tape of getting referrals, necessary lab tests, and high quality medical care." He went on to say that the complaints received ranged from having to wait weeks for an appointment to being denied urgent medical treatment (usually by denial of the insurance company to pay for the treatment). The hotline number to voice a complaint and/or receive the guidelines is
1-800-800-5154 All messages are confidential.
Physicians Who Care has over 3,500 physician members, most in the private practice of medicine. Dr. Bronow stated, "Our members are committed to the goals of protecting patients' rights, supporting the traditional doctor-patient relationship, and ensuring quality health care."