Dr. Bruce Hopper from HelloHealth Speaks Out on Restoring Professionalism to Private Practice and the Danger Of Healthcare ̶
Posted Apr 25 2010 2:51pm
First of all I feel flattered that a post made here at the Quack caught attention here as I write about technology and morality in healthcare all the time here. I have written a number of algorithms myself and I do see the value with Health IT with better care; however, we need balance today and that’s what we really need to zero down and take a look at.
We are still humans helping other humans and from Wall Street to health insurance we are losing this reality with getting too excited over new analytics, hardware or software that comes on the scene. There’s nothing wrong with getting excited and implementing new technologies at all, but sometimes it does distract with over indulging with analytics to the extent that we are disrupted and sometimes misguided from what we are supposed to be doing, getting well and getting the care and direction we need in a humanistic environment with our doctors.
There are what I consider new “basics” as far as documentation and keeping up with all the needed patient information we need today and electronic medical records in some form or fashion are necessity, but the other side that analyzes and over indulges when it comes to profits is the big question and this is where the balance is lost. Patients too need to get involved with what is going on too as there’s a lot of information out there to help that we didn’t have access to a number of years ago.
Medical record software has to be certified to work and provide “meaningful use”, but what about the payer side of this, a little certification in payment methods I think would be very welcomed today, we certify one side with medical records software but not the other that generates payments and thus we are not balanced. When you stop and think about this, the clinical side doesn’t happen without the payment side for the most part as everyone can’t operate strictly with charity.
You can give this idea some thought as a physician as you fill out your claims for the 15 years of under payments to doctors and over charges for patients relative to the Ingenix data base used to calculate out of network charges as to why regulation and maybe certification of payment algorithms could be a good thing.
I’m somebody’s patient too and I value the patient-doctor relationship a lot so I am no different than anyone else. Here’s the original post on the topic of mathematics research that pretty well sums it up. Biases and memory lapses are still very human and part of life – nothing perfect there yet and probably never will be since humans are not born perfect.
I am not the first one to recognize this and Senator Rockefeller has this to say last year after hearing testimonies and on that same subject, if members of Congress made some efforts to participate further in their own healthcare, we might have a bigger understanding and awareness as what’s going on around us and behind the scenes too.
Behind the scenes activity goes beyond healthcare too and goes right into financial regulation too when we see things like “human hedge funds” and “dead peasant” life insurance polices being put up to wager with and how do we think this fits into the highly debated “derivative” markets under fire right now?
Is the value of your health and life just one more derivative to put on the market for investing, and where’s the morality?
All in all is our healthcare and our lives being treated like “one more “derivative” (brick) in the Wall (Street)”?
In short, this is a great post and continue reading what Dr. Hopper has to say below. This is great to here a physician speaking out, we need more of this. BD
“Algorithms. There is absolutely nothing HUMAN about them. They deconstruct healthcare to a commodity.
Advanced Primary Care’s VALUE is HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS. 3rd party payers will never reimburse doctors for the resources necessary to deliver on preserving this Patient-Doctor relationship.
There is simply no way to “measure” this value because it can only be “valued” subjectively by each individual patient.
If you are an individual who wants to PARTICIPATE in your health and COLLABORATE with a physician when you are sick, then good luck finding a doctor through your anonymous “insurance plan”.
If you are a physician who wants to deliver real CARE to your patients, then what are you thinking signing contracts with insurance companies who base payments on biased algorithms? “Reimbursements” that don’t cover overhead in addition to onerous, valueless administrative requirements to collect on these pathetically anemic payments.
Join me in restoring the professionalism to real primary care medicine.”