- Del Meyer, MD - http://delmeyer.net -

Forty-five Years Ago (October 1952)

Considerable space in this issue is given to legal aspects of the adoption process. This was a continuation of the article started in the Sept 1952 issue.

There were also several pages on infant mortality and child health.

Among the various hospital reports, Sacramento County Hospital announce, in addition to their night courses for aspiring lab techs, that there were 479 autopsies done the previous fiscal year. The current rate was 75%.

The editor deplores the poor re-imbursement for insurance physicals which at $5 minus the usual costs leaves $1.46 for a 30 minute examination.

Thirty years ago (Oct 1967)

Members of the Society have been receiving information from banking institutions encouraging them to use credit cards. The Judicial Council of the AMA has regarded the use of credit mechanisms as unethical. However the past year the AMA softened its official position on the use of credit cards in a more permissive direction by citing local option as the determining factor. In view of these developments the Board of Directors considered this issue at length. It was the conclusion of the Board that the use of credit cards in the Society’s jurisdictional area for the payment of medical bills is not recommended. Arguments which formulated this decision included the following: The banks charge a $25 enrollment fee. Physicians charges are discounted 3% to 6%. The doctor must maintain an account at the bank where the drafts are deposited. He must post a sign in his office. The patient must pay 1 1/2% interest after thirty days which increases the cost of medical care to our patients. Thus credit card usage is not considered in the best interests of the profession or our patients.

The new measles vaccine has reduced reported cases of measles to one-third of the previous year.

The Insurance Review Committee issued extensive guidelines to all health plan underwriters to streamline their work, that the health plan retain a local physician to serve as its medical advisor, that the involved physician and the insurance carrier be present as necessary, and for the insurance carrier to abide by the committee’s recommendation.

The president of the California Medical Association urges the state’s physicians to continue treating Medi-Cal patients with the same high level of care that they have been providing since the program’s inception even though there is confusion about whether the state will pay them for their services later. “The risk of nonpayment is minor compared with the on-going care of ill people during this fiscal crisis,” according to Doctor Morrison.