Untwisting the Healthcare Knot: What Affordable Health Care Really Entails
Healthcare is a 3-trillion dollar industry. This implies that we should treat - and manage - it like a business. However, many healthcare professionals shy from doing this, proclaiming that medicine is humanistic. However, avoiding the business aspects of medicine is beginning to interfere and detract from the humanistic elements of medicine. Healthcare professionals need to look at medicine more objectively, by putting a value to health. This doesn’t necessarily demean or objectify the human life - instead, it can ameliorate it. Doctors and hospitals also need more flexibility. Back in the halcyon days of the 1950s, before the growth in managed care, doctors were able to establish genuine relationships with their patients.
Today, with jam-packed back-to-back appointments, doctors rarely get to know their patients. In order to bring back the focus on the humanistic elements of medicine, bundle packages and block grants should be granted to hospitals, rather than categorical grants. In addition, medical malpractice reform, also known as medical tort reform, is essential. Many states, such as California and Texas, have begun to carry out policy formulation in regards to this reform but no such regulations have been passed on the national level. Medical malpractice reform would enable patients to have better access to health insurance and prevent them from paying the high costs of malpractice insurance if need be. In addition, rather than having doctors and hospitals being paid on a per-service basis, bundling the services around the needs of the patient will limit healthcare costs.
This centralization is key if we want affordable healthcare to become a reality in the United States. The divisive nature of this recent political election has prevented politicians and other governmental officials from making these controversial decisions. However, the cost of healthcare only continues to rise. By trusting our healthcare professionals - but also holding them accountable for their operations - we will be one step closer to remedying healthcare.