Take a look at any newspaper, magazine or web-based headline and you’re bound to see references to changes affecting the world of medicine. The information comes in multiple forms. It can be in a blog, such as Wachter’s World, or a documentary, Escape Fire, on CNN. From Obamacare to Medicaid, the rapid evolution of the expectations of our health system is on display. Somehow, I sense there are more negative messages than positive. And, in many ways, the criticism is justified. The costs do not appear to deliver measurable value, such as in mortality rates, harm and patient satisfaction.
There are few venues at AAMC to discuss these challenging topics that directly affect our professional careers. The quick hallway conversations don’t do justice to the complexity of the problems. There is little evidence of a two-way dialogue to spark frank discussion on these topics. The lack of appropriate discourse only generates more assumptions, second-guessing and misunderstandings within our own medical community.
For example, a Washington Post article regarding cancer clinics recently garnered more than 5,000 comments.
I’m sure that most physicians will be affected directly by the cuts. And if there is little in the way of response, I believe it opens the door to further reimbursement changes either through the SGR formula, bundling of payments or other obligations that will put a price on the value of care.
Do you believe your practice will be affected? Will you continue to see new Medicare patients? What are your thoughts about bundling of payments? Please send in your comments. They will be available for viewing and further responses.