Sunday, February 6, 2011

Value vs. pay for service

The traditional health care model pays doctors and medical facilities for patient visits and medical tests and procedures. This means doctors are squeezed to see more patients and shorter visits. They are all reimbursed on volume - the concept of patient care goes by the wayside as the number crunchers force more on the practitioners. This squeeze is felt all the way through the health care system. Nurses are forced to cover more patients. More and more tests are run which require more radiologists to read the results and faster

Now there is a symposium in the Boston area focusing on the concept of value and patient care. It calls for focusing medical care on patient conditions instead of on medical specialties as has been traditional.

I am not a fan of doing something the same way over and over just because it is the way things are always done. As we reform our health care, we should look at all ways for change. If we are changing payment structure, insurance overhaul, and more, we need to look to improving patient care and provide more value.

If my care was more centralized, maybe issues and their overlap could be seen and treated. I am in the middle of changing my primary care physician because I don't feel like she is managing my care. I need someone to manage my care and not send me down the road of yet another specialist without having any idea of how I am doing.

Value and the patient should be first, not last in the health care line

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