Monday, August 18, 2008

Health Train Obsession



I used to obsess about my clinical profession, Ophthalmology. My spouse now tells me I obsess about health care reform.  My part time activities in health information technology issues have inflated, like health care costs, into an almost full time endeavour.

The main differrence is that I was reimbursed, although poorly in later years (at least according to my assessments); now, in my present endeavour I am volunteer staff.

In order to be perceived as credible in these areas, everyday experience and more than thirty years of 'boots on the ground' seems to speak for little.  I, like many physicians seem to be outgunned by health care pundits, financial pundits, politicos,foundation pundits, and more.  Too bad none of them take night and/or weekend call, or have to pay my rent and malpractice premiums.  Not that they are not well meaning and some actually are acting in physician's best interest....throw in that non unimportant component of health care....patients. (whoops I meant consumers).  Please flog me for that error in my ways. (some of us cannot be 're-oriented', or should I say re-programmed). 

I don't understand at all why patients tolerate  being called "consumers" instead of patients.  This 'threat' or misnomer seems to have the medical establishment quaking in their boots....or at least this is the outward politically correct reaction to businesses, insurance companies and others....

Perhaps our patients  need to realize the insurance companies, pharma, and third party administrators  are the real consumers, consuming 20% of the healthcare dollar in the United States.

The value of an MBA, PhD, or title such as 'President, CEO, COO, Executive Director, Chancellor, Provost, Dean, Vice-President, Chief, Chairman, etc. etc seems to outweigh my paltry M.D., FAAO, and/or Board Certified Ophthalmologist.  That is why I never replaced all my wall paper (certification documents) when they were destroyed in 1995 in a flood in South Georgia. My reasoning was that all that "stuff" was in my head, not on my wall.

That is my rant for today.....Now that Michael Phelps is out of the pool....I will do my laps.


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