Why does health care cost so much? A response.

Supply-and-Demand-Graph
How much would a toaster cost if someone busted your kneecaps if you didn’t purchase it?

The March 4, 2013 edition of Time magazine focuses on the cost of health care (“Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us” http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/bitter-pill-why-medical-bills-are-killing-us/). The special report looks at the cost of care for uninsured individuals after diagnoses ranging from lymphoma to indigestion, and wonders why costs are so high.

I thought that was a question with an obvious answer: because health care isn’t subject to supply and demand. It’s not a free marketplace; capitalism doesn’t apply.

Things got even more discouraging when I watched my DVR recording of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, which originally aired on ABC the morning of February 24. (Yes, I record the Sunday morning political talk shows. Don’t judge me.)
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The end of primary care doctors? A call to arms to end the “occipital lobe syndrome”

occipital lobe
No meeting, no forum, no report has left me so fearful for the future of my profession than being a patient.

“Practice transformation,” or how practices can transform into patient-centered medical homes (PCMH), is all the rage. One of the four pillars is “patient-centered care” and emphasizes metrics like same-day appointment availability. (Click for more info on PCMH)

As more and more practices move towards PCMH certification, can primary care physicians make all these changes yet still run their practices like dinosaurs, ripe for extinction? Will we be replaced by the smaller, warm-blooded mammals of walk-in pharmacy clinics and Advanced Nurse Practitioners?

Previously, I would have said, “We will not only survive, we’ll thrive!” Now I’m not too sure.
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My first blog post

blog
This is my first blog post. Who am I? Why am I here?

I debated for a while whether or not to get into blogging. My election to the American Academy of Family Physicians as the New Physician Director in the spring of 2012 pushed me a bit in the direction, as I knew I would be thrust into the world of health policy and advocacy for my year on the Board. But it wasn’t until my professional career leapt forward during the winter of 2013 that I decided to finally start blogging.
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