Naples Community Hospital eliminates patient choice of doctor

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Photo by WINK News.

Changes are coming to the choice of doctors in Southwest Florida, and that is not making patients happy. Doctors said they are against it too.

Naples Community Hospital is moving forward with a new program that will eliminate the ability for patients to choose their doctor.

“As a patient, I want my doctor, who I think is extremely competent.”

Paul Kardon, a retired doctor, lives near Naples and ran into trouble following a medical procedure.

“I had massive bleeding requiring blood transfusions,” Kardon said.

Kardon ended up being a patient at NCH. He said without his primary doctor, he doesn’t know what would’ve happened.

“It was very comforting to me to know that he was there and directing my care,” said Kardon, referring to Dr. Ronald Garry.

Garry practices at NCH.

“I chose him to be my physician, because I was able to evaluate his training,” Kardon said.

Garry said the hospital is taking that ability for patients away.

“It’s really un-American to not be able to choose who your doctor is,” Kardon said.

NCH is rolling out a new program that would require a doctor employed by them to admit patients, give medical orders and add notes to the patient’s records.

According to a written statement NCH sent to WINK News, “[Patients in the new model of care] are having a better patient experience, are having a shorter length of stay and are having a lower chance of being readmitted within 30 days.”

Dr. Cesar Deleon, president of the Collier County Medical Society, has his doubts.

“It’s not only shocking to me but scary for the care of my patients,” Deleon said.

Under the new program, a patient’s doctor is encouraged to come see the patient at the hospital, review the medical record and work with the hospital on a care plan.

Deleon, Garry and Kardon said they don’t want the program to move forward.

“I’d like to see things stay the way they are,” Kardon said.

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