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06/25/2013    Mark S. Davids, DPM

The Bell Tolls for Us

Today, I received a letter from my alarm
monitoring company and our pest control company
telling me that, due to rising business costs
(incurred with supply costs, employee healthcare,
regulatory compliance, employee training, etc),
they will be implementing price increases. Of
course, they want me to continue to use them to
service my office; and I have no reason to change
because everyone is likely handling the financial
matters the same way….except for us.

Faced with the escalating costs of maintaining a
practice and providing the best medical care
possible, I am met with ever decreasing
reimbursement for my time and effort and the
inability to raise my fees. And please don't tell
me that I can charge whatever I want for my
services since we all know that fee-for-service
does not exist except in the rarest of podiatry
and medical practices.

Today's practice of medicine follows a bad
business model. It is a model that would force
the closure of any other type of business.
A "widget" company faced with increasing costs
and decreasing revenues (and nothing on the
horizon that would lead them to believe that the
trend would reverse) would shut down.

I know that I am preaching to the choir, but this
dialogue must take place at all levels and
especially between our podiatric leadership and
our state and national legislatures. I believe
that the time may be at hand to have this
dialogue with our patients before the only
remaining dialogue is the one telling them that
they will need to seek podiatric care elsewhere.

I welcome the academic discussions on this site
and I am sympathetic to our recent graduates who
still await residencies; but a bell is tolling
and we cannot passively wonder for whom it tolls.
It tolls for us.

Mark S. Davids, DPM, DeLand, FL,
dr.davids@cfl.rr.com

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