El Segundo Medical Center
El Segundo's Premier Family Medical Center
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Arnold Chanin, M.D.News from the Medical Director
TEN INEXPENSIVE WAYS TO FIX OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

1)  PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS SHOULD CARE FOR THE MAJORITY OF OUR PATIENTS: 
About 90% of general medical problems (including injuries) can be taken care of ina an office setting.
2)  STAY OUT OF EMERGENCY ROOMS: 
In the doctor's office, most illnesses can be diagnosed and treated for 1/5 the cost (or less) of the ER.
3)  CUT DOWN ON UNNECESSARY MRI STUDIES:  If we are spending about 100 billion on the imaging tests per year and calculate that 1/2 of them are not really necessary, this would pay for all the uninsured families in America.

4)  COMPENSATE DOCTORS SO THEY WILL ACCEPT MEDICARE AND MEDI-
CAL PATIENTS:  The amount these plans pay is so low that the doctor's office can't survive. [In addition, most insurance plans base their rates on what Medicare pays.]  This puts the burden on County Clinics or Emergency Rooms and increases everyone's cost.
5)  USE THE PHARMACY PLAN OF 90 DAY SUPPLY FOR $10: 
Now, many local pharmacies are offering a three-month supply of over 400 generic drugs for only $10, and we are already seeing the benefit.
6)  GET ANNUAL PHYSICALS OVER AGE 50: 
If we can motivate you to exercise, reduce weight and lower your cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar, we have avoided thousands of dollars per patient in added healthcare costs.
7)  FIND WAYS TO ELIMINATE DEFENSIVE MEDICINE: 
The litigation “industry” is one of America's growth industries.  This has led doctors, hospitals and emergency rooms to order any tests which might be looked upon as “necessary” in case of a lawsuit.  This adds billions of dollars to our healthcare costs.
8)  FIND DOCTORS WHO CAN TREAT THE WHOLE FAMILY:  It is much more advantageous to find a doctor or group of doctors who can treat the whole family.  The doctor or physician's assistant can even handle a personal crisis such as panic attack, acute anxiety, death of a spouse or similar situation.

9)  EDUCATE AND SUBSIDIZE MORE FAMILY DOCTORS: 
Medical students are directed away from family practice or primary care because of low reimbursement or inability to pay off student loans.
10)  HMOs ARE NOT THE ANSWER:  When HMOs were conceived and put into practice 30-40 years ago, the idea was to restrict or ration healthcare services and eliminate “fee-for-service”.  The HMOs and PPOs have made a deal with the doctors:  They will send patients if the doctors will accept less payment.  This has resulted in many doctors not accepting any insurance, not taking Medicare patients, opening a concierge practice, or charging cash-only for visits.


Arnold Chanin, M.D.
Medical Director
El Segundo Medical Center