Reed Abelson’s and Julie Creswell’s treatment of quandaries in healthcare delivery (“The Disappearing Doctor: How Mega-Mergers Are Changing the Business of Medical Care,” April 7) advances a crucial debate about America’s quest to find cost-efficient care. Their theme of the “disappearing doctor” is spot-on but needs amplification as to why, specifically: Physicians are overqualified to treat most needs of most patients. Their service, in aggregate, exemplifies inefficiency and waste.
We know this to be true, as physicians and founders of of ZOOM+Care, a healthcare organization with 36 total-care, on-demand clinics in Portland and Seattle. Make no mistake: We have our doctors. But most of our millennial-age customers direct their care from smartphones and only see a credentialed primary care doctor or specialist on-site when they truly need to. Our customer’s health outcomes, meanwhile, are positive, because we keep track
\It will be important going forward that providers, insurers and regulators agree on a few basic things as our healthcare system undergoes much-needed overhaul. As physicians we wish for a functional, robust healthcare system as much as anyone, even if it means recasting our roles and changing popular expectations.
Dave Sanders, MD and Albert DiPiero, MD, MPH
Drs. Sanders and DiPiero of Portland, Oregon, are the founders of ZOOM+Care, a on-demand health platform in the Pacific Northwest.