Concierge Medicine – A Further Divide

This morning, I skimmed my tweets to see what the tweeples are talking about.  One posting about concierge medicine really stood out.  Premium-based healthcare, as it is called, allows people to pay a fee in order to ensure quality healthcare.  Yep, that’s right.  In this scenario, quality healthcare is no longer a given (not that you can rely on it these days anyways)….you have to pay for it!

I think we can all agree on a few points.  First, doctors are underpaid (thanks to the greed of insurance companies) and the majority of them have overwhelming patient loads.  BUT, second, and most importantly, the patient ultimately pays for all of this.  Five minute office visits and a doctor who’d just as soon throw a prescription at you than take the time to find the root cause, have become the norm.

While establishing a concierge healthcare system compensates those doctors who chose to cater to the wealthy, what about the poor people who can’t afford the current healthcare system or the doctors who chose to provide services to them (wonder how many would jump ship if they knew they could significantly increase their income by charging the wealthy $4,000 a year in addition to regular costs)?

Establishing a premium-based healthcare system isn’t healthcare reform (I haven’t seen anyone call it healthcare reform, but I wanted to rule that out right away). True healthcare reform addresses the  quality of care and access to healthcare.  What’s reforming about telling people, “Okay, you can have quality healthcare and premium access (under the premium-based plan doctors will make housecalls) if, and only if, you can afford to pay for it.”?

This sounds like just another way to widen the gap between the haves and the have nots.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts.


Healthcare Reform – More Questions than Answers

Chances are, if you turn on your TV to any news channel you’ll hear mention of the Health Care Reform. While it’s likely that not a day passes when you haven’t at least heard a snippet about the Health Care Reform, it’s equally likely that if you ask 100 people for their opinions about the reform that you’ll receive a 100 different responses:

  • What’s wrong with the system we have?
  • Where’s all the money going to come from?
  • Should everyone have healthcare coverage?

Then, add to the mix countless politicians feeding the frenzy with endless comments about what needs to be done to fix the system. Do they really have a clue?

Today, our population is getting sicker younger; children are suffering with respiratory ailments and other illnesses once found in adulthood while young adults are getting illnesses and conditions once reserved for the elderly. Meanwhile diabetes, the equal opportunity disease, shows no age discrimination as it rampantly attacks all generations. What does having a population that gets sicker younger mean for the Health Care Reform?

Next, let’s consider the concept of preventative measures. Currently, many insurance companies offer discounts to companies whose employees take part in a wellness or general health program. Personally, I think this is a great idea. However, while wellness and general health programs help keep the healthy healthy, how can they benefit those who are misdiagnosed, chronically ill, or suffering from mysterious symptoms?

The Health Care Reform is certainly a hot topic, and rightfully so.  Over the next several weeks (or maybe even months), I’ll be researching and letting you know how healthcare reform will affect the undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or chronically ill.

What are your thoughts about Healthcare Reform?