It used to be that your doctor was your go-to man or woman. Whenever you had a cough or a rash or needed a check-up, it was the same friendly face at the same family practice. Over years of knowing one-another, doctors and patients began to be comfortable enough around each other and familiar enough that treating almost anything was a lot easier. After all, it’s a lot easier when a physician knows an extensive medical history of a patient without even having to look at their chart.
However, a lot of things have changed recently in the healthcare sector. It no longer has the same structure. Sure, it’s going to now be required that all Americans sign up for coverage—but, the entire system has flipped. One of the major issues that comes from that is the loss of that strong classic patient and doctor bond.
In 2008, about 68% of doctors said that worked at privately owned practices. Fast forward just a few years, and today only 35% do. The rest work in government, multi-hospital organizations, or hospitals. The number of independent practicing doctors shrinks more every day.
Obama-care is now requiring that hospitals have a sort-of “ownership” for physicians. And, for some reason, government pays out more for treatments and procedures that take place in large hospital facilities, as opposed to smaller private practices. For doctors, there’s no real other option if they want to make a paycheck. And hospitals are buying out the independent health facilities.
Additionally, new electronic record-keeping systems are just far too expensive for private practice to really keep up with. The smaller businesses can’t even really afford the high cost for the initial investment to do these required electronic records. And these days, if physicians are filing their records properly; they’re just not going to get paid.
But, the decline of the private practice is nothing new. In fact, insurance companies have to taking apart the independent physician market for years. Big name insurance plans only will cover certain facilities/ And, what else can we do? Healthcare is (unfortunately) the biggest corporation out there. In order to make it out alive and keep our careers, we must also adjust the way we practice.
But, patients may be suffering from this new era in healthcare, too. Patients are now facing rushed doctors trying to fit in both their visits and the filing of their electronic records. These records, of course, are not even necessarily safe. They are at the hands of hackers, too. Plus, that close family-practice comradery of yesteryear seems like just a passing memory. Now, it seems, we’re destined to continue in our ways of big-business healthcare.