We need to stop calling physicians “providers”

by Larry Emmott on October 10, 2016

in Health Care Politics

This has been a peeve of mine for years.

The forces appear to be aligning to gradually push the word “doctor” out of the center and towards the periphery of health care. Whether we are talking about administrative communication or health care information technology order entry — it seems that we are no physicians or even clinicians, but we have all become grouped together under the non-specific term of “provider.”

Source: Why we need to stop calling physicians “providers”

The linked article makes some good points. The author, a physician, makes the statement that dentists would not stand for being reduced to “providers” but of course he is wrong it has already happened to us.

Provider is an insurance term that is designed to reduce the status of doctors and to lump us all together. It is part of an effort to commoditize us. That is to imply that every dentist, surgeon or hygienist is the same as every other provider. If we are all the same then why not buy the cheapest? Of course we all know that we are not all the same. Some dentists, surgeons or hygienists are simply better than others.

A related goal is that if the status of the doctor is reduced then consumers of healthcare , patients, will be more likely to disregard what the providers tells them and believe the insurance carrier or government bureaucrat who wants to control our decisions.

End of rant.

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