“How many of you are capitated?”
Only a couple of people raised their hands; it turned out they were from California, trend-setter for all things, good and bad.
I had no idea what they were talking about. This was in the mid-nineties sometime, at a seminar series on medicine and literature for alums of my college.
And so the other day, when I turned up at the physical therapy place my sports medicine doctor recommended and they told me I was capitated, I still had no idea what that meant. Something about a head? A not-cut-off head?
What a crazy word it is, and what a crazy world it is. You can’t go to the place your doctor recommended (well you can, if you want to pay more) because your insurance company has decided that your primary care doctor (who referred me to the sports medicine guy in the first place because she’s not an expert in rehab), is only associated with certain PT places.
But why are PT places assigned to her in the first place, when that’s not her specialty? And what gives an insurance company the right to tell her which ones her patients are allowed to go to?
Off with their heads!