General Health Care Politics Management

The Issues Facing Our Healthcare System

Planning Your Future

From Wealthy Doctor:

Many of us who take care of patients know that health care continues to struggle with endemic variations in quality stemming from poor coordination, misdiagnoses and inappropriate care. While state-of-the-art care is there, delivering it can be messy…

…The things that matter for patients — a doctor’s skill and sound judgment, and staff teamwork — are unmeasured by the business stakeholders in health care. (Emphasis added)

Source: The Issues Facing Our Healthcare System | Wealthy Doctor

The provision of affordable treatment is the major issue facing our healthcare system. All other problems flow from that.

We have attempted to manage the cost and affordability issue by transferring the cost to others. This approach has created perverse incentives which lead to even more problems.

As a general rule patients care about quality outcomes and the overall experience of a healthcare encounter. They do not care much about cost as they rarely pay directly for treatment.

The payers – insurance and government – are primarily concerned with cost.

When money is no object (the patient’s perspective) then there is no incentive to seek alternative treatments or to increase efficiency.

When money is the only object treatment is denied or the cheapest alternative is mandated.

Payers’ constant effort to reduce costs means they are constantly looking for the lowest quality alternative. (Of course they will never put it that way.)

Would you pay more to go to a physician out of your network that will cost you more out of pocket because you perceive him or her to be better. For example would you pay more to go to Mayo than you would to go to the corner doc shop? How much?

Do you believe there is a place for a dentist who provides better quality at a higher price with no insurance? That is better outcomes and better experiences. If so how will you create and sell that concept?

Technology can have a significant role in this. Great technology can help you provide a better service and help you create a better experience. But great technology is expensive. You will need to charge more than the average dentist down the street using techniques from last century. The third party payers won’t cover it. That is the issue.

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