This weeks’ blog post is… gasp… not about knee replacements. I do have one tidbit of knee replacement information; Medicare reimbursement for a total knee replacement decreased by about 68% between 1992 and 2010, based on the value of 1992 dollars. (See recommended article 3)
After encountering three excellent articles written by MD’s that describe the crisis that the medical profession is currently undergoing, I decided to do my part by promoting these articles and giving voice to the complaints and musing of respected professionals.
Most people are unaware of the pernicious and insidious changes taking place on a daily level. I describe them as pernicious and insidious because they issue from a steady flow of rather mundane irritants that only in aggregate become toxic.
You might read one of the quotes below and lack sympathy thinking that, surely enduring that minor mundane irritant can’t be that bad. The toxic aggregate of dealing with chronic ridiculous requests and intrusions into providing excellent care however leaves one feeling incredibly frustrated because there are so many more important needs left unattended.
We will all suffer as a result of the changes and subsequent decline in health care. As a practicing physical therapist for over 20 years, I find myself voicing a hardy “amen” to most of the problems described.
Consider the following quote by Luis Collar,MD from a post entitled, “The Relevance of Physicians is Dwindling.”
Fast forward several decades, and it’s a brave new world. Health care is no longer the quaint, intimate village it once was, a place where unrushed, independent physicians served patients with unfettered therapeutic autonomy. Instead, it is now a massive metropolis where “employed” physicians roam the streets aimlessly, impotent drifters struggling to engage nameless patients for more than a few minutes at a time. They wander through once familiar territory, amidst towering glass buildings and blaring neon signs built by the bureaucracies now in charge, waiting for instructions, for permission to practice the very profession they created. Their sincere, objective counsel is no longer audible above the big-city cacophony of technological “progress,” corporate profit motive, and government mandate.
Despite the foul smog of competing interests that permeates this new delivery paradigm, one thing is clear — physicians are no longer calling the shots. And each time a physician is instructed to add medically irrelevant information to a patient’s medical record for billing purposes, each time she must alter a successful therapeutic approach to accommodate a change in insurance company policy, each time administrators force him to discharge a patient prematurely or see more patients in less time, each time any physician relinquishes any professional control whatsoever, the medical profession dies a little; it sacrifices a bit of its collective integrity and ceases to be truly relevant.
The full article can be found Here
The second article is by Jordan Grumet, MD, entitled, “Doctors and Nurses Are Being Overloaded With Menial Tasks”
My personal assistant called to say that I had to redo the form to get one of my patients a walker. Although I had signed it by hand, we had typed in the date. Apparently the medical equipment company required that the date also be written in ink. It sounds minor, but I had to find a fax machine, wait for the fax to arrive, write in the date, and fax back. All, of course, needed to be done immediately.
The full article can be found here
And finally, Daniel F. Craviotto, an orthopedic surgeon who wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “A Doctors Declaration of Independence”. He lets it rip with the following.
So when do we say damn the mandates and requirements from bureaucrats who are not in the healing profession? When do we stand up and say we are not going to take it any more?
The full article can be found here
Please take a moment to read and pass on to others you know. I already know of one Doctor of Osteopathy who is adamant about advising her children not to go into medicine. Is this what we want… to get treated by the least qualified because they can’t get anyone else to put up with the nonsense?