Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - When you think of the Teamsters union, you don't usually think of doctors, but a few hundred in the Syracuse area have joined the union and more continue to sign on. Federal law prohibits them from forming their own national union so these local doctors say the Teamsters can help them fight big insurance companies. Dr. Dennis Nave has the traditional medical devices doctors use to treat patients, but he also has a different kind of tool. Nave, along with about 300 other doctors in the area, has the Teamsters helping him. “It did send shock waves and people started saying oh, there must be a problem in health care, how is it they have to turn to the Teamsters for help." Nave says he's hearing about more and more patients being denied medical procedures or tests by insurance companies. Nave says he's been collecting written statements from other physicians where access to care has been denied. “I don't think people go out of their way to order tests that aren't necessary. I don't have financial interest in ordering MRI's or CAT scans, it certainly doesn't make me rich because I don't own any such machines I only do it when I feel its necessary and what's important for a patient according to my training." Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the larger insurers in the area, when we contacted them to talk about the idea of doctors unionizing they said they have no comment on the issue. Nave says, “Maybe it's time physicians step up to the plate and recognize the community needs help and we should act responsibly and in addition physicians need help too and sometimes we have to turn to other groups for that help." The union hasn't directly taken on the insurance companies yet. Right now Nave says the Teamsters are helping get the attention of state lawmakers that physicians haven't been able to on their own. Physicians are pushing for a collective bargaining bill that would allow them to go to insurers, as a group, to negotiate what they say are better plans for patients. A spokesperson for the group America's Health Insurance Plans, the national association representing insurers, says unionizing is unnecessary and won't address the real issue which is aligning quality care and payment. Copyright 2007 Clear Channel Broadcasting. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Save/Share Story digg reddit newsvine Google del.icio.us Yahoo!