Profits Over People in Primary Care

From an Admin Assistant at a Primary Care Office

The goal of primary care is to be a preventative tool in ensuring your health and well-being while reducing any unnecessary visits to urgent care. Due to COVID-19, many practices have found it difficult to stay open because they operate as preventative healthcare, so most of their revenue comes from appointments like physicals, pap smears, or other routine medical needs. In order to remain open and compete with large primary care facilities like Kaiser, primary care offices are turning to alternative measures such as operating with limited or little PPE, reducing allotted visit times in order to create more appointment slots, and promoting unnecessary office visits.

This creates a situation of risk for patients and all office staff. The very thing primary care is trying to prevent is exactly what they are creating. What’s wrong with this is not only prematurely opening and attempting to cut costs, but the false rationalization that these measures are being taken to provide patients with care.

The real question that needs to be raised is not how to reduce costs, but why there is a need to do so! The reason I and others have gotten into healthcare is to help improve quality of life, not create health problems and financial burden. I believe that COVID-19 is not the only virus that needs to be stopped, but also our for profit healthcare system.