Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] From a physician: A plea to big medical corporations

Next time my physician urges a screening, I’ll wonder if it is because of his concern for my health (most likely- knowing my physician) or his corporation’s interest in profit…
As this article outlines is that physicians in corporations are often

English: A doctor examines a female patient.

English: A doctor examines a female patient. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

in Catch-22 positions.

From a November 2014 post at KevinMD

thought more highly of business folks until I started working for them.  I thought CEOs and boards of directors of companies had a vision, whether to maximize shareholder profit, or to produce a stellar product or provide a singular service, etc.  Once the vision was elucidated, everyone worked together like a team to make it happen.

Then I became employed by a large corporation as a family physician to provide medical care.  And it’s been one eye opening experience after another ever since.  To me, it’s quite simple.  The vision of a medical practice should be to provide good medical care while being cost conscious, and maintaining strong patient satisfaction.  That’s how all the money gets generated, right?  The patient pays his/her premium, part of which gets funneled to our large corporation, who is then tasked to provide care for that patient.  How is care provided to that patient?  By having a doctor see, talk to, examine and treat that said patient.

OK.  So we all know that it’s not quite that simple.  Enter primary care 2014, the world of risk adjustment factor (RAF) scores (which entail the corporation getting paid more for sicker patients), electronic health records (EHR), and quality metric incentive payments (the corporation gets more money from insurance companies by meeting certain goals in screening, like colonoscopies, mammograms, etc.).  Now health care has become more complicated.  But it’s still all based on that interaction we physicians have with our patients.  We can’t meet quality metric goals if we don’t see the patients, we can’t determine if they are sicker and therefore require more funds to care for if we don’t see them, and we can’t use EHR if we don’t see the patient.  There’s just a bunch of road blocks and distractions added in….

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November 9, 2014 - Posted by | health care | , , ,

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