Doctor sees insurance remedy in health reform


Dr. Scott Nelson has found a growing problem among his patients in rural Mississippi, and it's not related to a disease.

More and more patients, he says, have extremely high deductibles in their health insurance plans. As high as $5,000. So they must pay that amount out-of-pocket in a year before insurance kicks in.

Nelson, a family physician in Cleveland, Miss., treats many people with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. They require ongoing care for those conditions, but it's out-of-pocket costs – amid a recession -- that lead an average of two patients a day to walk out of his clinic without getting needed tests, he says. "A lot of sick people need a lot of monitoring,'' he says.

Such insurance problems have helped convince Nelson to support the movement to overhaul the nation's health care system. Not only would reform help patients receive proper care, he says, but it also could boost his practice financially.