One of the biggest issues facing the U.S. in 2013 is what to do about the public health care system. In the current system doctors are paid on a per visit, per procedure basis, rewarding doctors that see more patients and those that perform more expensive procedures. The problem with this system is that if doctors are making money based on how many patients they see and say they need to see a patient every six minutes, the doctor is not able to spend enough time with patients in order to adequately diagnose and educate them on proper care for a certain condition or preventative measures that could help them avoid further progression of their health problems. Also because doctors are paid on a per procedure basis, they are encouraged to perform more dangerous procedures on patients that don’t need them. This is a huge issue when one realizes that hospital error/illness is the third leading cause of death in the United States. So how can we fix the care portion of the health care system so that both doctors and patients benefit?
One solution would be to pay doctors on a salary basis, with the possibility of promotions and pay raises based on patient satisfaction and their effectiveness as a health care professional. By making it so that doctors are paid on a salary basis there is no longer this need to see as many patients as humanly possible in a small window of time. Instead doctors can spend more personalized time with each of their patients, providing thorough care that will ultimately result in better health for the patient in question. This will also decrease the amount of unnecessary procedures that take place because there will no longer be a financial incentive/pressure to take this path. Instead doctors will be able to look at the patient’s situation and come up with a solution that is the least invasive and most effective for them. This will then decrease the amount of medical errors and deaths that occur because of unnecessary surgeries. The main problem with the health care system is the way that it pays those involved. We need to create a new system that focuses on quality instead of quantity. If more patients are provided with better care and educated on disease prevention methods, it is likely that more patients will remain healthy and health care costs will decrease as a result.