America's Healthcare System
Medical care in our country is undergoing a very stressful transition. Both patients and doctors are being placed under increasing pressure by both government regulation and insurance interference. Patients are often frustrated by their experience with health care and feel they are not given enough time or attention. Frequently, running tests and prescribing medications takes priority over interacting with the actual patient to solve the medical condition for which they are seeking help. In addition, patients often feel their own input, preferences, and beliefs are not factored into their care.
There are reasons these patterns have developed. Regulation by our government into health care is immense, and likely will be getting more intense in the years to come. In addition, our reimbursement for visits, (which is decided both by Medicare and insurance companies) is structured in such a way, that we, as physicians, are encouraged to have short, quick, test-driven, medication-prominent, visits. We are reimbursed very poorly for longer visits; these visits however, are what is often needed to solve chronic health care concerns. Therefore, our system is very good at preventing death, but very poor at promoting health and addressing chronic disease. Physicians who take time to solve chronic disease and prevent illness, such as Dr. Carine, get paid less.
In addition, an ever-rising sea of regulation drives the overhead of running a private practice ever higher. Most physicians look to joining hospital-run groups to ease the regulatory pressure put on them. This, however, adds another beaucratic level and further limits the practices of the physician. It creates large physician groups and interferes with doctor/patient relationships.
What you have likely experienced in medical encounters in your past is a physician who quickly evaluates you, decides there is no serious, life threatening illness, and sends you on your way without any attempt to solve the condition you came in for. So your “headache” remains, but now you at least know it is not a brain tumor.
We hope we can do better.