Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Balancing Act: Treating The Patient vs. The Healthcare System

A Balancing Act: Treating The Patient vs. The Healthcare System

"And physician compliance and paperwork burdens are being exacerbated by emerging reimbursement methods.  New value-based payment models, such as the aforementioned MACRA, require physicians to track countless “quality measures.”  Combined with EHRs, the overall effect serves to divert physician eye contact with patients – something both parties increasingly resent.


Unfortunately, as all physicians know too well, they often find that their ability to choose what is best for their patients is compromised or obstructed by bureaucratic requirements or third parties who are non-physicians and neither have the training nor the knowledge of the patient that the physician possesses. They also force physicians to be box checkers instead of maintaining important eye contact with their patients.

Speaking of all of these experiences plus new and expensive (to physicians) reporting mechanics and regulations which have the effect of turning patients into data machines, we were taken recently with what is now considered to be the favorite joke in Canada. Substitute health care regulators for NASA, and the joke unfortunately is on us.  It goes as follows:

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity.  To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 degrees Celsius.  The Russians used a pencil. "

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