Thursday, September 27, 2007

"The Best Care Anywhere" by Phillip Longman

"The Best Care Anywhere" by Phillip Longman: "'The U.S. medical market as presently constituted simply does not provide a strong business case for quality.' Casalino writes from his own experience as a solo practitioner, and on the basis of over 800 interviews he has since conducted with health-care leaders and corporate health care purchasers. While practicing medicine on his own in Half Moon Bay, Calif, Casalino had an idealistic commitment to following emerging best practices in medicine. That meant spending lots of time teaching patients about their diseases, arranging for careful monitoring and follow-up care, and trying to keep track of what prescriptions and procedures various specialists might be ordering. Yet Casalino quickly found out that he couldn't sustain this commitment to quality, given the rules under which he was operating. Nobody paid him for the extra time he spent with his patients. He might have eased his burden by hiring a nurse to help with all the routine patient education and follow-up care that was keeping him at the office too late. Or he might have teamed up with other providers in the area to invest in computer technology that would allow them to offer the same coordinated care available in veterans hospitals and clinics today. Either step would have improved patient safety and added to the quality of care he was providing. But even had he managed to pull them off, he stood virtually no chance of seeing any financial return on his investment. As a private practice physician, he got paid for treating patients, not for keeping them well or helping them recover faster."

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:12 AM

    If you explain to patients what you think a problem is, explain to them what they need to comply with to correct the problem, answer their questions and give them literature on the subject, I would consider you an excellent doctor.

    At some point, doctors have to stop beating themselves up because they have uncompliant patients, or because the patients don't bring in test results, etc, from specialists you send them to.

    Exactly why would doctors take it on themselves to contribute to the ongoing infantilizing of Americans?

    Doctors are not responsible for patients' overall health; only for correcting specific medical problems. Patients (or non-patients) are individually responsible for the general state of their health, not doctors.

    Talk about a God-complex!


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