By Marc Siegel, MD
If quality medical care is to survive in America, this is what it must look like.
Dr. Siegal points out how we waste so much time and precious assets with poor communication and bureaucratic road blocks. I agree, as most people do. The issue is not necessarily the problem it is the proposed solutions.
Some people believe that the solution is to centralize the process and take the decision making out of the hands of patients and local physicians who do not have the knowledge to make the best decision about the care available.
Others, including me, believe the best solution is to get closer to the problem and to let local market forces trim the excess and reduce costs as they do in most other areas of economic activity. A big part of that would include tort reform. Current fears of litigation distort the healthcare market significantly.
It is central command and control vs. local autonomy and personal responsibility.
BTW: The article also asserts that the effective use of technology including digital diagnostics and electronic health records to improve communications will be a big part of future healthcare reform. I agree.