23 Apr PITY THE POOR PRACTITIONER
Pity the poor practitioner…seeing patients all day, trying to save lives, only to have government lawyers creep into their existence. Doctors weren’t taught hiring, training, or government relations in medical school. Most MBA grads don’t run a doctor’s office. It is trial by fire…and when our health care providers lose, we lose. We lose our health, our freedom, and our economy. And all because politicians throwing roses sang a song of seduction.
Things first started to go sour when insurance companies got the great idea to contain costs by exploiting physician’s lack of negotiating skills. With fear and intimidation, doctors joined networks. There were times when insurance carriers wouldn’t even let the doctors know the fee schedules until after they signed the contract. These barbaric tactics were cloaked with the excuse of reducing costs. What really was going on was dollars shifting from practitioner to insurance carrier. Premiums did not go down, services did not improve…and doctors got mad.
Feeling more helpless and jaded, they began to take ownership of testing facilities and outpatient centers. Two started to play that game. And suddenly tests were ordered at a much greater frequency…and that wasn’t exactly a surprise. Not good for lowering costs. Not good for the forgotten patient.
Medicare didn’t like that. They had to write bigger checks. But instead of specifically preventing the behaviors they didn’t like, they just sliced payments, punishing all for the greediness of a few. That way no politician or bureaucrat would be accused of having to make a decision. No decision to make means no blame to take. And the game played on.
The medical world went round and round…and started to spin less smoothly.
Those with an opinion but no education started to hypnotize the equally clueless with groupthink and horror stories about how terrible our medical system was. Others listening to these stories blindly accepted the trash talk. Most people have not been patients in hospitals, so most people really have no experience to make an accurate judgment. In the mean time our doctors and nurses missed much of this drama because they were too busy working their tails off. There was no shortage of academic experts with artificial intelligence spewing dangerous yet sweet sounding theories.
Then came Obama. He enjoyed the perfect storm of silver tongued oratory skills and blind followers who thought they had just found Jesus. The legions of fools swelled. The hyperbole so sweet and well intentioned, it resulted in one of the biggest cons of the American public. History will not be kind to this grand social experiment bearing the fingerprints of Obama, the Clintons, Pelosi and Reid.
Now doctors and nurses are trying to keep their balance on the deck of a ship trapped in a massive storm. Disgusted with the AMA, exhausted by being vilified, and overwhelmed with bureaucracy, they retire, join larger groups, or sell their practices to hospital systems.
The soul has been cut out of medicine by arrogant politicians who will say anything. With no ethical boundaries they have ruined our health. We have to get it back. Pity those who had the arrogance to play with what they don’t understand. Pity the practitioner. And most of all, pity the forgotten patient.