The Docs4PatientCare Foundation is an organization of clinically practicing physicians dedicated to defining and addressing the major defects and problems in the healthcare system causing less than adequate access and the clearly defective financing model for the United States health system and needing reform. The members and leaders of the Foundation are uniquely positioned to do so because of their dedication and experience actually treating and managing patients’ disease and illness and spending thousands of hours analyzing these issues and developing the reform solutions that make sense for America.
Why was the Docs4PatientCare Foundation formed?
The formation of the Docs4PatientCare Foundation occurred because a group of American physician leaders and practitioners saw the long-standing and critical need to reform the United States healthcare system in a manner consistent with the fundamental values of our Republic and for the ongoing and growing needs of an expanding and aging population. The physicians recognize major defects in the American healthcare system which had developed over five or more decades and believe strongly as the medical caregivers and decision makers for each individual patient, they have the best perspective for reform and solutions.
The concept of ‘the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship’ is a core value of the Docs4PatientCare Foundation. Why?
The doctor-patient relationship is the center-piece of American medicine. The relationship is intimate, requires absolute trust and confidence on the part of the patient and highly ethical standards (oath-based), knowledge, experience, skill and confidentiality on the part of the physician. It is a truly unique and sacrosanct relationship and one that should not be interfered with and degraded by a top-down, bureaucratically heavy program dominated by non-physicians – both government and insurance based.
What were the key healthcare reform issues prior to 2009?
Prior to 2009 the U.S. healthcare system was in need of major reform. Dislocation in market forces by a flawed insurance model and increasing government policy from World War II onward had produced a defective financing mechanism for health care through decades of miraculous scientific advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and outcome. Virtual and universal patient ignorance of cost and the increasing absence of market based competition had eliminated any control or management of the costs of medical care.
What are the Foundation’s concerns about the attempted reform efforts in the Affordable Care Act?
The ACA was the first major effort since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid to reform the fundamental defects in the U.S. healthcare system. Unfortunately, the law was passed quickly, defectively and only because of an exceptional political landscape on a totally partisan basis. It has cemented many of the defects already in the system and has been increasingly rejected and broken since taking effect over the past year. The reform needs of the healthcare system for cost, access, medical decision making and healthcare decision freedom for each individual citizen are not present in the ACA and the situation in America is now moving into crisis and abounding constitutional issues.
What are the key healthcare reform goals for Docs4PatientCare Foundation?
The Foundation’s reform goals are clear and would be effective if enacted. A market based system that allows competition and fair tax treatment for business and individuals alike would lower costs throughout the nation. Reform of the insurance model with national rather than state based policy purchasing would reduce the costs of medical insurance dramatically. Placing all citizens into the position of being purchasers of health care services with tax deductible Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) would rapidly create price transparency as patients wisely decide, as actual consumers, on the actual costs of what they pay for with HSAs (and protected with by their HDHP insurance for high expenses.)
Can the poorest American citizens access and receive quality healthcare in a reformed system?
Certainly – America cares about and for the neediest of citizens as do the nation’s physicians. Government support with vouchers and payment for HSAs and HDHPs would equally assist the poorer citizens to also become cost-conscious consumers of their health care and likely dramatically increase access to quality health care for all.
Is a patient-centric, market based solution to the unresolved healthcare reform issues possible?
Such a reform outcome would require substantial political and legislative changes. It is the Foundation’s role to inform citizens, business leaders, educators, other physicians and caregivers and leaders across the spectrum of American society about the reform model and solutions we believe are appropriate in a free country with preservation of the critical doctor-patient relationship.
How can real patient-centric, market based solutions be put into place?
It is the responsibility of the above cohorts, i.e., U.S. citizens, to demand such a patient-centric, market based reform model through their elected officials. It is the responsibility and mission of the Docs4PatientCare Foundation to inform, educate and recommend the reform throughout the nation going forward.
Is the VA system a realistic model for the United States healthcare system?
No. The VA system is the example of what the American healthcare system should never evolve into. It is truly a top-down, bureaucratically defective and inefficient, unfortunately corrupt system that is not capable of an affordable, efficient and high quality delivery system to the veterans of this nation. A reform model that would evolve into the VA model would be unconscionable and truly tragic for the Republic and for citizens expecting a state-of-the-art and compassionate healthcare system despite its known areas needing improvement and reform.
Aren’t electronic medical records a good idea?
The concept of electronic medical records (EMRs) has great potential. Properly implemented, EMRs can improve patient care, improve efficiency and save money. But government regulations and incentives have taken the emphasis away from providing value to patients and physicians. EMR vendors have been forced to create products that meet arbitrary regulatory requirements instead of providing innovation and value. As a result EMR products continue to be a burden to providers despite government financial incentives to use them.