Re "How's your doctor paid? It pays to know" (Living Here, Dec. 20): Just when I thought I couldn't be more depressed by the state of health care in the United States, I read Dr. Michael Wilkes' column on the models for paying doctors.
Four models are presented: charging for every service provided, managed care, fees tied to number of patients, and "pay-for-performance." Wilkes gives the downside of each model, usually something to do with doctors doing as little as possible to keep costs down and profit margins up. I expected to find some sort of upside, a recommendation, at least, that would suggest that patients look for doctors who follow a certain model. There is none.
The upshot is, "Let the buyer beware." Want a doctor who follows the best model for treating what ails you? Good luck!
-- Mary McClellan, Sacramento