Your cover story "Virtual healthcare" (March 18, p. 42) has helped promote the latest fad in healthcare: virtual everything.
The real impact of many of these virtual relationships is reduced provider reimbursement as payers pass on real reductions in premiums to providers that have virtually no leverage to negotiate better rates.
More often than not, the term "virtual" is being used-or sold-as the rationale for not creating real meaningful change. To borrow from one of healthcare's past fads, most virtual delivery systems will need to be re-engineered.
The Kaufman Group, San Diego