Our goal is not to save insurance companies money. A most nefarious lot. Our goal is to solve problems and make you whole again. Healthier and happy. That is the goal of functional medicine and Anti-Aging Medicine. Optimal Health and Well Being.
There is nothing inherently wrong with medicine as a business. There is nothing inherently wrong with any business in America. We still aspire to capitalist principles. What is immoral and repugnant is rapacious business.
First of all, physicians will tell you, “I’m a doctor, not a businessman.” But the very few of us dinosaurs left in solo practice are running a small business. And it is not an insignificant small business.
It is apparent why a fellow physician was so discouraged when he spoke with a number of Senators and Congresspeople on Capitol Hill recently. Politicians are clueless about medicine. Most people do not understand the complexity of medicine. Senators are absolutely clueless about related medical issues such as steroids and sports. In the end, most are only interested in self-aggrandizement and self-preservation.
There are more and more voices of doubt being raised. A simple issue?
Medicare has been courting insolvency for years — barely surviving. With the advent of baby boomers hitting 65 in the next two years, Medicare will take an even bigger hit. And they want to enlarge Medicare for 45 million more people? In this economy, where will the money come from? All people on Capitol Hill secretly know there is no money.
This is all a shell game. This is an attempt at economic reform not medical reform. It does not even begin to touch medical reform.
And California is about to fall off a cliff in two weeks. And the stock market will begin heading south fairly soon. It is unsustainable.
The answer is functional, Longevity and Anti-Aging Medicine. Promoting optimal health and well-being.
The goal that all physician should aspire to is the prevention of hospitalizations. But most physicians make a good percentage of their income from hospital rounds were they have no overhead. In the past it seemed rather facetious when physicians would say, “but what if I accepted your model and my patients really were healthier?” If every physician’s goal was to promote healthier patients, they would need to continually find new patients.
Our goal is to solve problems and make people whole again. It is not to carry the same patient load year after year to year without solutions — simply filling our “panel.”
There are some simple answers that nobody is discussing:
Catastrophic health coverage for everyone.
A total revision of the concept of health insurance.
Health insurance has become a club membership. It subsidizes the cost of drugs and medicine. If health insurance stopped paying for all drugs there would be severe pain for 4-6 months, and then market forces would dictate a monstrous discount of all drug prices. Drug prices are enormously overpriced today because they are subsidized by health insurance. As soon as anyone obtains a new health insurance, their first thought is, “great, now I can go see my doctor.” As if they couldn’t see their doctor anyway. This is a something for nothing society.
Nobody thinks about actually paying for services — fee-for-service. But we pay for everything else — auto insurance, hair care, homeowners insurance, liability insurance, death and disability insurance, accountant services, veterinary services and on and on.
In the last 5-10 years it is more honest to conclude that health care is not a right. This is politically incorrect and even heretical. But the DMV is quite adamant about propounding the same fact — driver licenses is a privilege not a right.
It is not that medicine is a privilege, but it is not a right. It is not in the Constitution. There is no universal law. The only concept that promotes medicine is a right dates back to the enlightenment with Rousseau and the social contract. We do have a responsibility to foster the health of the body politic and society. That is part of the social contract. But medicine as a right propounds a something for nothing society.