The holidays, or specifically in my case--Christmas and Hanukkah are done or being celebrated over the next few days. The festivities were a success by all traditional measures.
Then why do I feel so restless? Could it be the yearly nudge to refine or improve in the new year? I am not typically prone to resolutions.
The closest I can figure is the "mushroom cloud of ignorance" looming over us all. We are prone to it. It isn't a partisan debate. Think confirmatory biases. We seek out "facts" and evidence to support our pre-conceived ideas and beliefs. No need to be fatalistic about it--we can learn to think critically and outside our well-worn heuristics and biases.
I am not sure what we will see in the next administration regarding health policy or the Affordable Healthcare Act. These issues are more complicated than headline news bait would suggest. How do you discuss health policy when many are not informed about Bipartisan Budgect Act of 2015 (BBA) or even site-neutral payment policies?
If you point to health policy as the reason your premiums are escalating I suggest you rethink what a free market commodity looks like. Your premiums went up because your insurance policy raised them. Large companies are beholden to their shareholders--it is about profits--not your aunt's new hip.
Back to my original thought. Historically I found it impossible not to correct a misconception or random erroneous comment in a thread. Usually there is a factual article in a reputable journal shared on Facebook or another social media platform and what follows is a bunch of partisan trolling from both sides.
You may be tempted to weigh in with an opinion about how perhaps insurers and regulators drive care algorithms and which drugs are offered at the point of care. You may even be tempted after a few "likes" to discuss the decline in doctor and patient influence--as emerging payment models are geared to populations of patients--not the individual at the point of care. There are some truth bombs nobody wants to hear.
Dear reader I warn you. Tread gently or not at all. There is a lot of anger out there. And it is wrapped in misinformation. I think I have decided on my "resolution" this year. Many of us are seeking guidance and information about how policy may influence our access to care, our patients access to care, or how we are compensated for the care provided. Never mind the complicated alternative payment models and complex coding being forced on all of us. We will witness market consolidation, escalating costs, and monopolistic forces.
In the meanwhile I would invite you to join the dialogue. Afterall, it isn't just another marketplace commidity. It is the quality of our lives. Shouldn't we care about the quality of the information dictating pay for performance metrics?
Are we going to accept the prevailing "truth" that if we demand price controls on healthcare services like drug costs there will indeed be less discovery and innovation? What about the fact that taxpayers are funding much of the innovation AND paying the higher costs? Stick around...its going to be an interesting year.
Happy New Year...
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”