Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Re-unite Consumer of Health Care with Payer of Health Care

Dr. Timothy Wingo explains that we should, "Re-unite the consumer of healthcare with the payer of healthcare".

He explains how in his Forbes piece, "Concierge Medicine For All: Direct Primary Care Is The Solution For Our Health Care System.

An excerpt:
However, starting several decades ago, we were sold on the idea that health insurance should cover everything including routine primary and preventive care; and once we paid our premiums, or they were paid on our behalf by taxpayers, we could expect extensive work-ups to be done with little thought of the costs.  If the additional cost to us was very little, why not?  We believed that more care was better care. Whether or not it was necessary rarely factored into our thoughts.  Doctors, needing to protect themselves from malpractice liability, and not having time to educate patients or argue, would oblige us as it also made them more money. The insurance companies, paying for all of this care, then started charging higher premiums, implementing higher deductibles, co-pays and co-insurances…and the cycle continued.

In large part because of this, doctors have faced increasing bureaucratic regulations from government and insurance companies in an attempt to control costs.  This has lead to doctors getting reimbursed very little for their time despite them spending 12-plus years in training and a few hundred-thousand dollars for that education....

This explains why doctors rush through appointments and spend very little time with patients.  In an attempt to not miss a diagnosis, not disappoint patients, and protect themselves from liability, they order multiple tests.  This makes hospital administrators all too happy. They really don’t expect to make a profit on their employed doctor’s time, they expect to make it off of the ancillary services he orders.  Some of these profit margins can exceed 10,000 percent!

So what is the solution?  Re-unite the consumer of healthcare with the payer of healthcare...