July 13, 2010

Old Habits Can and Should Often be Changed When it Comes to Health Care!

So I don't know if many of you know that because I am completely not realistic about life sometimes, I was crazy enough to choose the ONLY PA program in the country which is a dual degree with Masters in Public Health.  Now, the truth is that I absolutely love public health topics because the are so relevent to EVERYONE.  So I thought I would enlighten your minds with a recent topic from one of my classes and the one of the sources comes from a NY Times article. 


So when it comes to health care costs MANY OF US KNOW, medicine is not cheap, so this obviously affects you and I.  If I could describe the way most PRIMARY CARE offices work (this is your regular physician you see often), because the physician is payed per procedure or per patient, in order to cover costs of not only the physicians salary, but of the staff, and personell running the "business." it is in the offices best interest to see as many patients as will be allowed.  which turns out being about a 15 minute appointment per patient. 

So right now the way the reimbursement system works is, practitioners are paid based on sheer quantity of visits, NOT BASED ON QUALITY.  At this point a practitioner is not compensated for any instruction, life-style modifications (i.e. exercise instruction etc...) and the current medical system does not support PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE, it really supports TREATMENT OF EXISTING CONDITIONS.

So in this article it highlights an Eastern insurance company who is experimenting with novel reimbursement ideas.  This company pays for multiple nurses for each doctor, and their entire role is to manage and keep up with chronically ill patients.  They are available for phone calls every day of the week, and often end of conversating with these chronically ill patients (i.e. diabetic patients) up to once a week.  This has shown to drastically decrease ER visits and further progression of these chronic diseases to extremely expensive and very sick people.  The doctor is also compensated for PT EDUCATION REGARDING PREVENTATIVE MEASURES, and it also available for for appointments.  When the insurance company saves money based on patients not being so sick and decreases in hospital visits, the saved money is given to practitioners as incentives to continue practicing more preventative medicine. 

It really is quite novel, and it is important to understand that there are many problems with the health-care system as is.  It will take major change on the part of not only practitioners, but insurance companies too.  BUT THE GOOD THING IN ALL OF THIS CHANGE, IS THAT IT IS CREATED IN ORDER TO BENEFIT THE PATIENT AND CREATE MORE PATIENT CENTERED CARE, not insurance dominated and quantity dominated. 

Anyways I am always interested in improving the health of communities and individuals and making care much more quality and prevention driven.


Bekah said...

Kim!! You need to blog about your new place you're moving into!!!!! I can't wait to see it!!

Dave Mackey said...

I think I may have a topic for my term paper! Thanks Kim!


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