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Denying needed care

September 26, 2013
The Daily News

EDITOR:

At the request of long-time Iron Mountain friends, Orice and Harlan Walters, I'm writing to ask if you might publicize links to two parallel petitions which seek to end HMO and Insurance Carrier abuse of patients. At the present time these health care plans maximize their income by denying medically necessary care.

They do this by hiring health care professionals (doctors and others) to serve on bogus "medical panels" and often give them officious titles such as "Medical Director" when, in fact, they have essentially no power to help the patient.

Their primary focus is not on the patient but on the goal of denying needed care. And what's truly distressing about this is that these hired guns are not held to any accepted standard of care.

Therefore, our petition seeks to stop this abuse by asking Congress and the president to create a Congressional Mandate which stipulates that any doctor or other health care professional who uses his or her professional license, in a capacity in which their decisions directly affect the care of the patient, be held to the same local standard of care as is the physician or other professional who directly cares for the patient.

Please note that the petitions do not ask Congress to set the standard of care. Rather, they merely stipulate that the HMO or Insurance Carrier's professionals who deny care will be held to the same standard of care as the treating professional.

Why two petitions? The first was created on the SignOn.org platform and addressed only the physicians who are used as hired guns.

Later, at the request of petition-signers who represented non-physician health care professionals, I responded by creating a second petition on the Change.Org platform which broadens to include non-physician health care professionals. The links to the two petitions follows: tinyurl.com/standardofcare and http://chn.ge/12p5rYo.

I was born and raised in Iron Mountain.

I was the founding member of the waterski performing group, the Skiters; was the clown, barefoot skiing, flying the ski kite, jumping and jump tricks; snow ski racer and jumper.

I left the U.P. for Harvard College, med school at Wayne State University in Detroit; then Internal Medicine at Einstein's Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, followed by Cardiology training at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

I am currently, practicing cardiology in Manhattan; a member of the voluntary faculty at the Icahn Medical School at Mt Sinai. I teach a weekly hands-on course on Electrocardiography, a 4th year med student elective, attracting students from around the world.

At the end of each session, I perform one or two magic illusions. For the past 20 years, I have been a member of the team, led by world-renowned neuroendocrine tumor expert, Richard Warner, which cares for patients with Carcinoid Heart Disease; I am the founder and medical director of the Carcinoid Heart Center, a founding member of NANETS (North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society) and a member of ENETS (European Neuroendocrine Tumor Society).

Currently, we are in the midst of a major effort to raise funds in support of the Center for Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai. I have started two petitions in support of patient care.

Both petitions urge Congress and the president to end the abuse of patients by HMO and Insurance Carriers which use professionals and bogus panels to deny medically necessary care. These decision-makers are currently held to no standard of care, unlike the professionals who directly care for the patients.

On a personal note, my wife and I have 5 boys, the eldest is an electrophysiologist (an invasive cardiologist), two are computer specialists, one a mechanical engineer, and the youngest, at age 10, a computer game "specialist".

In my spare time, in addition to sports and reading for fun, I enjoy contributing to HealthTap.

In addition, I've been giving thought to the issue of making medical knowledge available in real-time to health-care workers around the world, no matter their location, and the possibility of rapid deployment of subspecialty groups to wherever the immediate need for their services might be.

We are currently living in Fair Lawn, N.J.; I commute daily to my office at 1120 Park Avenue in Manhattan, a short distance from the Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Jerome S. Zacks MD FACC FCCP

Member, Center for Carcinoid &

Neuroendocrine Tumors

Icahn Medical School at The Mount

Sinai Medical Center

New York, N.Y

 
 

 

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