“We will not sacrifice profitability for membership.”

They usually write themselves.

Reason #1156 to pay attention to Susanne Madden and the Verden Groupthe AMA itself has turned to her for an analysis of the exodus of patients from many of the large, national plans. Apparently – based on the quote above, from Wellpoint’s CEO – the insurance companies are more interested in their short-term bottom lines than anything else.

For the record, NO this isn’t a surprise and YES we realize that these are businesses and exist to make money. Perhaps insurance companies shouldn’t be publicly traded? The president of the AAFP wonders, too:

“They have a problem in that they are for-profit corporations. They’ve got to answer to their stockholders and look for profit,” he said. “At the same time they do have a responsibility to society. They need to make sure they are working together to make sure as many people are insured as possible by holding down premiums.”

Oh, what does this have to do with Susanne? I love her quote:

“With consolidation and there being fewer players comes a certain amount of arrogance,” she said. “The response from the insurers is quite miserly.”

I love that word, “miserly.” Didn’t Ebenezer Scrooge change his ways, in the end? When does the Ghost of Healthcare Future show up and scare us all? Go read the piece and save it in your “Next Time We Negotiate” folder. I wonder if this is a warning to practices that they aren’t going to care as much if you drop them?

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