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Friday, February 15, 2008

Where is Dr Carl?

Pillitieri Ob-Gyn has been delivering babies in Suffolk County NY for 50 years. The practice was started by Dr Pillitieri senior, and it was ultimately inherited by his sons, Carl and Mark, and his daughter Eileen, a nurse practitioner. I got to know Carl first, and then Mark, Mother's Day 2003, when I was on call for my urology group. Carl called me first and asked that I see his patient who was in pain from a kidney stone while pregnant. I said sure. About 30 minutes later, Mark called to ask where I was because his patient was in pain.

Who are these guys? And why do they torture me thus?

Several months later, when my wife became pregnant with our second child and we needed a new Ob-Gyn, the Pillitieri's were the first and only number that I called. I only knew them from that interaction and one or two more like it, but I could tell that these guys were patient advocates to the n'th degree. Their commitment to my wife and me from beginning to end confirmed my initial belief.

I have come to know Drs Mark and Carl, as they are called, and "Dr" Eileen, pretty well over the years. They send me patient referrals from time to time and in fact kind of supported me in my early years as a solo urologist in start-up. Their patients are nothing short of fanatical about them as doctors; almost cultish in their reverence for the 2 docs and nurse. On several occasions I have treated mother-daughter-baby combos all of whom were patients of Drs Mark and Carl. From an unassuming office, the Pillitieris practice outstanding patient care and safety combined with state of the art medical treatments. They are the real deal.

They are also dying.

Dr Pillitieri senior left practice in the 90's after being on the losing end of a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Dr Carl left practice after 15 flawless and lawsuit free years in practice to relocate to Maine, where his liability insurance premiums dropped by 66%. Dr Mark has remained behind in the Deer Park NY office, along with his sister Eileen. They are committed to the practice and the community that they love. Mark takes call everyday and has not had a single day off since Carl, left 2 years ago. Now that is devotion!

This year, Mark paid the standard rate for Ob-Gyns in Long Island, which happens to be $180,000. Unless legislative action in Albany intervenes, Dr Mark will be forced to pony-up another $56,000 in July 2008, in addition to his $180,000. If he cannot do afford the rate increase—and who really could—he will be forced to close his doors to new obstetrical patients.

There is a real human drama unfolding here on Long Island—a crisis in the making.

You have the ability to avert it. Contact your local state senator and assemblyman. Join me in Albany for legislative day on March 4th.

What affects Dr Mark affects me and affects you.

Act Now!

The IU.