How to Polish a Turd

The medical system has been royally screwed up for a long time.  We agreed to Medicare, unlike dentists, and became beholden to the government.  We got bullied by insurance companies who made deals to “give” us money even though it is the patients’ money.  We agree to managed care and HMOs and capitated care as these same insurers kept driving the payments to us down.  We lost control over ordering tests, prescribing medications, and how to treat our patients. Physicians became Robodocs that no longer responded to patients’ needs but we were trained like Pavlov dogs to click boxes to appease the government and the insurers.  With the ACA came unproven (actually proven not to work) metrics that we were convinced by the AMA, AAFP, AAP, ACP and every other governing body to go along with.  They were wrong.  They created a massive turd and the only way to fix is to…..add more crap to the turd.  How about another person in the room who does the boxes and notes like scribes?  Just more overhead and more hurdles to the patient-physician relationship. How about prior authorizations?  How about narrow networking, where doctors are removed from working with patients they have known for years?  How about expensive EMRs that change all the time and get in the way of doing your job?  What’s next?  Patient experience officers:

Because of this paradigm shift in patients, many practices are implementing a new role within their organizations of a patient experience officer—a designated employee responsible for making sure the entire experience is in line with patients’ expectations.

Can you afford this?  No. As a doctor, I should be responsible for making sure the entire experience is in line with patients’ experiences.  That’s called being a business person. I do this as a DPC doc because if I don’t then I go out of business. This is the charade we call modern healthcare in America.  Because of insurance, patients don’t know the prices of anything and without skin in the game they don’t care.  That is starting to change with high deductibles but the only one saving money are the evil insurers.  So who pays for the scribes and now patient experience officers?  We all do.  This is another joke created by ivory tower geniuses who did a recent study showing “that a growing number of patients who leave their healthcare provider do so not because they aren’t satisfied with the level of care, but because of frustration with practice logistics—things like interactions with staff, scheduling hassles, wait times, and communication processes.”

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Why aren’t patients satisfied?  Because these same idiots crapped out this turd we all have to deal with and now they want us to polish it.  I have written about the turd polishers before and they are our representatives. It is time we just say ENOUGH to these idiots.  It is time for a revolution.  It is time for doctors, yes DOCTORS (MDs or DOs), to take back ownership of this mess and unwind it to start over.  DPC is a start but there is so much more. We are being replaced, ignored and devalued and unless we do something we will have no role left.  It is our choice to either be sheep led to slaughter or be leaders that fix this thing.

Tell me your thoughts on how we should do this because I am all ears.  We need a voice.  Leave your comments here.

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