Medical Practice Executive
Hi Leo that is a really good question with several correct answers depending on on where you choose to practice. If you are employed by a hospital they may have you see/treat uninsured patients as part of your normal duties as Dr. Ali stated and there would be no reprimand. Many Cancer Centers and Safety Net Hospitals are actually committed to seeing a certain number of uninsured patients. Typically they received funds from the county or state to provide care to the uninsured. If however you work for a physician's group, small or large, it is very likely they will not have an indigent mission and they will frown on seeing uninsured or even under-insured patients. If this is the case with the group you choose to join there is no direct reprimand, the reprimand is really a reduction in your pay. See, the logic is, you may choose to see patients without insurance, that could be your choice but the consequence of that choice is lower revenue for the group. The other doctors should not have to be penalized with a lower salary because you choose to see patients without insurance. So, as long as you can live with the consequence, a lower salary, there shouldn't be any other penalties. Then, there are some physician groups that will have a firm policy that no physicians in the group will see any uninsured patients. In this case, whoever handles your patient scheduling will simply not put them on the schedule. The choice is taken out of your hands. This is the case where I work. We are a large specialty surgical practice and do see patients without insurance unless they are willing to pay cash.
Good luck I hope this helps - Karyn
This professional recommends the following next steps:
- I would suggest you do a little soul searching, why do you want to be a doctor? Do you want to help uninsured and indigent people that need medical care? There are many practices and/or organizations you can choose to join to meet this goal. You can research such groups and organizations during medical school and your residency program, in fact you may actually participate in free clinics depending on where you attend school.