What I'm doing: Dr. Tanyech Walford

Stethoscope and chart

TEXT OF COMMENTARY

Kai Ryssdal:
One of the questions we're asking throughout the Wall Street meltdown is: What are you doing? Yes, you. And other people who are deciding whether to change the way they save and invest. In this installment in the series, we check a financial pulse in Southern California.


Tanyech Walford:
I'm Dr. Tanyech Walford, I'm a family medicine physician in Los Angeles, California. It's looking like I'll have to end up closing my practice that I've dedicated the last 5 1/2 years to build.

I've watched revenues diminish because people can't, and are not, paying their bills. Probably last year this time I had to refer, maybe, 2 percent of my patients to a collection agency to collect outstanding balances. Probably about 30 percent of my patients right now are referred to a collection agency. And I don't like to put that kind of burden on them, but the flip side of that coin is that I can't pay my bills and I'm working for free.

I'm going to pack up and abandon ship. I've decided to move back to the East Coast to an economy that is a little bit more user friendly, so to speak. And I'm also going to hide behind the shield of a larger practice, probably hospital-based practice, that can fight with these insurance companies and the government to get proper reimbursement so I can survive. Not only to survive but to flourish.

Kai Ryssdal:Dr.Tanyech Walford practices family medicine in Los Angeles.

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