A familiar tale: Veteran doc forced to sell out

It's a familiar story but to fellow MDs especially, still a poignant one. A recent article spells out a veteran doctor's dilemma, following the fortunes of a Arizona-based family practice physician who went from owning his own nine-physician practice to working for a local medical center as an employee. William McCabe has been in practice 44 years and never had a successful malpractice suit against him, but his premiums jump along with everyone else's. Also on the cost side, he was in the same boat with every other employer, watching insurance costs rise for his employees.

Because of Medicare cuts and relentless managed-care negotiating, McCabe estimates he's lost 20 percent of his income in the last decade,and currently gets $80 for the same service he was paid $100 for in 1997. Virtually all of Arizona's residents are part of some kind of managed care plan, so there's no one left to cost-shift to. He finally tossed in the towel and sold out to Banner Health, which operates Banner Mesa Medical Center.

- to read it and weep, see this article in the East Valley Tribune