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In your opinion, what’s the most dangerous trend in healthcare?

By far the most dangerous trend is insurance treatment denials. There seems to be a trend to limiting patient care Indicated by the actual treating surgeon by hiring other physicians, often not even specialists in the same field, to deny treatment, tests, and even surgery. Obviously, these doctors have had no direct contact with the patients, have conducted no examinations, and often do not even have specialty training in the field they were acting as peer review doctors for when they deny care.

The truth is, even if they were the same specialty, there are different approaches to patient care amongst specialists and one opinion, especially one on the telephone, should never trump another specialist’s recommendations. I feel these peer review doctors should be held accountable for the decisions they make because often the denial of necessary care leads to chronic pain and potentially a chronic injury that has less chance of healing.

The greatest danger is that the guidelines created by insurance companies are more about ensuring the insurance company’s profitability rather than patient outcomes and therefore these guidelines unfairly override the medical judgment of the treating surgeons. That will never lead to better care for the most important person in the equation- the patient.

Steven J. Cyr, M.D., is a spine surgeon who has gained a reputation for surgical excellence in Texas, throughout the nation, and abroad. He has fixed the most complicated, failed spine surgeries imaginable and credits his training at the prestigious Mayo Clinic for giving him the surgical foundation necessary to address these concerns. 

To find out more or to contact Dr. Steven Cyr M.D., please call 210-487-7463 (San Antonio) / 832-919-7990 (Houston) or visit