Healthcare Executives Need Big Compensation, And Big Results

“It’s stressful, dirty, hard work, and the burnout rate is high,” said Tom McNulty, a 19-year-old college student who volunteers for an ambulance corps outside Rochester. He told the New York Times that he finds it fulfilling, but that he would not make it a career: “Financially, it’s not feasible.”

Turns out the healthcare industry is staffed by some of the lowest as well as highest paid professionals in any business. The average staff nurse is paid about $61,000 a year, and an emergency medical technician earns just about minimum wage, for a yearly income of $27,000, according to the Compdata analysis.

Did you know that many medics work two or three jobs just to get by?

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We Know Fee-For-Service Healthcare Has Problems. But Would You Guess That It’s Hurting Patient Credit Scores, Too?

Mounting evidence shows that chaos in medical billing isn’t only affecting our nation’s health. It’s marring the financial reputation of many Americans. That’s because the bills themselves can take months to sort out, and medical debts can be reported rapidly to credit agencies, often without notification. Even small unpaid bills can severely damage credit ratings.

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Direct Care Is Business. And Its Business Is Serving Patients.

Last year, the New York Times wrote about Orlene Paxson, a 33-year-old, stay-at-home mom. Living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, she was unable to find an obstetrician that she liked who would accept her insurance. A lot of them weren’t accepting new patients, and one doctor who came highly recommended didn’t return her call for five days and didn’t want to see her until 12 weeks into the pregnancy. This was Mrs. Paxson’s first time being pregnant. She didn’t want to wait. Her policy didn’t cover any out-of-network services, but she and her husband went the cash-only route and paid the entire fee themselves — $13,000.

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We Think We Know The Answer… But How Has Your Insurance-Free Medical Experience Been?

At the end of their recent article about cash-only medicine, The New York Times asks, “With all the changes in health care and insurance, has your doctor stopped accepting insurance? If so, what has been your experience — both with the care and with your insurer? The article title is warily slanted — “Dealing with Doctors Who Only Accept Cash” — but the writer shared their own wonderful story about a cash-only doctor who drove an hour and a half to successfully take care of a sick baby.

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American Healthcare Deception Starts And Stops With Insurance

Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, M.D. posted a powerful blog entry on the New York Times website. He describes the ideal doctor-patient relationship, a place where intimacy transpires and information is exchanged openly and honestly. But he adds a caveat: “That is seldom the reality… Deception in the doctor-patient relationship is more common than we’d like to believe.”

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For Years The RAND Corporation Claimed EMRs Would Save Us $100 Billion Per Year — Until Their Own Research Proved Otherwise

Seriously, we’ve heard enough idealistic hoopla about EMRs improving patient care. It is not the reality of the situation. What appears to be the reality is that the companies who provide the EMRs, and get government kick backs for doing such, are definitely raking in a lot of dough. What’s not happening, though, is anything beneficial in the doctor’s office. The machines aren’t widely adopted and when they are, they’re costing doctors time with unnecessary clicks. And the nail in the coffin comes from the New York Times, who write, “The conversion to electronic health records has failed so far to produce the hoped-for savings in health care costs and has had mixed results, at best, in improving efficiency and patient care, according to a new analysis by the influential RAND Corporation.”

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Apprehensive Doctors Shift From Private Practices Into Salaried Positions

According to the New York Times, “American physicians, worried about changes in the health care market, are streaming into salaried jobs with hospitals.” This exodus is most severe in primary care, followed by specialists.

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Healthcare Spending On The Decline

Healthcare Spending On The Decline

When we got to this article, we crossed our fingers that it wasn’t some slanted link bait. The New York Times is actually reporting that healthcare is already slowing down growth on the U.S. economy. Thank you, Obamacare! Healthcare has been a sector known to help the economy recover from recession. And now, it’s lagging behind. Some facts to consider courtesy of the Times:

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Even The New York Times Is Suggesting Catastrophic Insurance Plans

In his new New York Times healthcare piece, “Driving a New Bargain on Health Care,” Tyler Cowen spells out the hard truth of Obamacare failings. Based on his prognosis, a lack of states extending Medicaid coverage will leave millions uninsured. This isn’t something that should excite anyone. However, it’s leading to wake up calls from top journalists. In his assessment Cowen offers a reaction to this shortcoming:

“At the same time, I’d recommend narrowing the scope of required insurance to focus on catastrophic expenses. If insurance picks up too many small expenses, it encourages abuse and overuse of scarce resources.”

As you know, we’ve been suggesting this for years now. When we as a nation can’t provide care for our own, that’s failing. But when we know something isn’t working (health insurance as health maintenance, for one) and we keep doing it, that’s even worse. So yes, while we’re nowhere near a solution, we’re moving towards a society that recognizes one thing: coverage is not care. It’s a point worth mentioning, because to many people, the idea that EVERYONE is insured sounds like utopia. For now, we’ll be the squeaky wheel reminding you that this isn’t really the case.

READ THE FULL NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE HERE

Direct Care & Doctor Shortages Are Related, But Not How You’d Think

David Bornstein recently reported on doctor burnout, something we’ve been following over the last few years. This concern isn’t falling on deaf ears, instead half of the nation’s medical schools are reacting, by including a course called The Healer’s Art (this course was created by physician Rachel Naomi Remen, and according to Bornstein, helps “doctors and students discover and reconnect to the deep meaning of their work and maintain their commitment for it.”) His article caused a commotion on the Web, with hundreds of readers — patients, medical students, doctors and spouses and children of doctors among them — expressing their personal experiences. After we reviewed a host of comments, we noticed something missing in the conversation: direct care…

We’re all running out of time
One reader from New York writes, “I am a primary care doctor who started idealistic, and am disillusioned and dejected. By far, the biggest barrier to being a compassionate healer in our current working environment is time. We simply don’t have the time we need to do our jobs well. And we all lose.”

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