To the Editor
As a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, I support the funding that the Society provides to the APSF. The APSF Newsletter provides me with valuable, stimulating, interesting, and sometimes controversial information. In reading the latest issue of the Newsletter, I couldn’t help but notice that APSF financial support comes only from physicians, physicians’ organizations, a non-CRNA anesthesia society, a few pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies, and one medical malpractice defense company. With the righteous indignation about medical errors disseminated by the television and print media, I find it amazing and frustrating that our federal and state government agencies (Medicare, Medicaid), consumer groups like AARP and The Leapfrog Group, health care and insurance organizations, big business and malpractice plaintiff attorneys do not support the APSF. Shouldn’t financial support for the ongoing work to improve patient safety also come from those who gain most–the health care consumer? With the continued reductions in our reimbursement, physicians cannot be expected to continue to bear most of the financial burden in working toward patient safety.
Anthony R. Palmer, MD