Telemedicine A Blessing For Some, Inaccessible For Others

When the pandemic began, LaVita King of Bridgeport worried about how she would continue to see her behavioral health therapist and primary care physician at Southwest Community Health Center.

She lives close enough to walk to the federally qualified health center but didn’t feel comfortable leaving her home in those early days, let alone venturing into a medical office. But she’s been able to access care through phone and video chats.

Yale Study Combining Opioid Use Disorder Treatment With OB-GYN Care Offers Hope To Pregnant Women Struggling With Addiction

When Amanda, 28, found out that she was pregnant with her second child, she was in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling with opioid use disorder.

“I was pretty heavy into my drug use,” said Amanda, whose last name is being withheld due to patient confidentiality. “I had given up hope and was figuring out a way to use drugs and get away with the consequences. But it doesn’t work like that.”

Can Independent Primary Care Doctors Survive Dominance of Hospital Health Systems?

Every day, Dr. Leslie Miller of Fairfield thinks about selling her practice to a hospital health system.

“Everybody who is in this environment thinks every day of throwing in the towel and joining a hospital,” said Miller, a sole practitioner in primary care for 20 years. “The business side is the problem,” she said, referring to expensive and time-consuming requirements of medical insurance and government regulations.

Dr. Khuram Ghumman took the unusual route of working in a hospital system first, then going into private primary care practice because he objects to the “corporatization” of health care. He said conflicts of interest can arise if an owner and its employed physicians have different objectives. “I wanted to be responsible to my patients,” Ghumman said.

Nationally and in Connecticut, hospital systems and private businesses are increasingly buying private medical practices and taking over their business operations. American Medical Association statistics show just 46% of physicians owned their own practices in 2018, down from 75% in 1983.