Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Future of Medicine

I was having an interesting conversation the other day with a Family Practice doc. He works in a rural community. He's one of those docs who does everything. He takes care of pregnant women, delivers their babies, takes care of the kids, and all the way up to the elderly in a nursing home. And he's struggling to make ends meet. It just really got me thinking about Obama's new socialized medicine plans. There's pretty much no way I can see that having an optional national healthcare plan will work in the long run. I think that if we are going to offer this plan to people, more and more companies are going to stop their health plans, or at least cut back on them. The program will just keep growing and growing. And here's the deal... some people think you can pay for this by (at least in part) cutting payments to doctors.
And here's what's going to happen. There are going to be more and more docs who decide that taking care of Medicare/aid (and whatever this new program will end up being called) patients is just too big of a hastle. I've talked to him a bit about how much trouble he has already, with medicare being one of the worst reimbursers out there. There will come a point, and I think that's going to be just as all these baby boomers are suddenly needing all this healthcare, when a decent number of docs are simply going to say, no thanks. Cash only, please. (or maybe private insurance if it's still around)
And then what are we going to do?

By the way, sorry about the delay. Finals, internships, moving, etc have really kept me from getting anything put up here.

1 comment:

  1. Doc:

    By the time everyone realizes how flawed socialized medicine is, it will be too late. The healthcare delivery system NEEDS reformation, to be sure. But how we get there is the very difficult question.

    There may be hope. I realize that plastic surgeon earn most of their revenue from cash transaction procedures, without any insurance reimbursement. That group of docs seem to do pretty well. Why, because enough citizens value bigger boobs or tighter faces or whatever sort of rebuilding and are willing to pay out of pocket for those changes.

    I am all for a system that does NOT allow the poor and indigent to fall through the cracks, but it should be a system which rewards users for living healthy, eating natural foods, drinking adequate water and reducing stress. If one likes to smoke and drink and carry on with self destructive behaviors, then that person should take on the full responsibility for their well-being, i.e., and have to pay for procedures they need. Take abortion for example. I as a practicing Christian Mormon abhor the sacrificing of a life through murderous abortion procedures. However I am also pro choice; You make your choices and you pay FULLY for your choices and I will make and pay for my own choices. This approach is fairest.