TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Powerful forces are taking control of medical decisions away from patients and physicians, using the manipulative power of words, writes Juliette Madrigal-Dersch, M.D., president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), in the fall 2013 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Madrigal practices in Marble Falls, Texas.
"I have been thinking lately about the jargon surrounding the medical field and how the subtle naming of things ensnares the physician into bondage to insurance companies, the government, and pharmaceutical companies, impelling him to act on the demands of everyone except himself and the patient," she writes.
For example, physicians send a bill—not a "claim for reimbursement." That a service was rendered is a fact, not a claim, she explains, and payment for one's work is not like a fancy meal for which the company might or might not reimburse an expense-account holder.
Doctors are not "providers" indistinguishable from persons with two years of training, she states. And not agreeing to an insurer's contract does not have the meaning implied by calling the doctor "not credentialed."
"Quality assurance," "utilization review," and "pre-authorization" are terms used to obscure the true explanation a physician might give: "Your insurance refuses to cover the medication you need; I'm sorry you have such lousy insurance," she suggests.
Dr. Madrigal defines "patient privacy protection" as "patient chart confiscation," and "meaningful use" to mean "we are following orders." The latter is "the bait-and-switch wherein doctors are bribed, coerced, and threatened into switching to electronic medical records."
To allow "terms designed to mislead" to remain unchallenged is "to engage in a dialectic of deceit, a debate in which logic is useless and the truth can never be revealed. Adopting the language of our opponents automatically concedes the fight," she states.
Dr. Madrigal reports receiving a 15-page contract from a big insurer, with many paragraphs beginning, "Doctor shall submit." She threw it away saying, "I will not submit." She views third-party payers as telling patients to "become a number."
Dr. Madrigal has never "taken insurance." Her third-party-free practice of internal medicine and pediatrics was featured in The Wall Street Journal of July 28.
The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943.