One Foot on the Dock

For the average Dr. Mary or Joe, setting sail into the future is exciting. Unfortunately, right now, it's more like having one foot on the dock and the other in the boat with the winds of change coming from all directions.

Everybody is talking about how, finally, we will see disruption in Sick Care. The pundits cite the relentless change, technological achievement, and alterations in public policy, insurance payment, and business models that will change our Sick Care system to a disease-prevention and health maintenance system. The gospel according to the blogoshere heralds the good news about patient enlightenment and empowerment, consumerism, transparency, value-based care and, of course, the Tablets of Big Data coming down from the mountain top, delivered by an IT exec in white flowing robes with millions falling out of his/her pockets.

It's all very exciting stuff, except for those in the trenches trying to survive while the brave new world takes shape. For the practitioners, most of their focus in still on the now, not the new. They wake up every day and read in the newspaper or on their iPads over their first Starbucks what Congress has passed or their state and local regulatory agencies have mandated that will affect their bottom lines that day.

Different payment for Medicare after 20 years. Ok. New healthcare mandates coming from HIMSS. No problem. Measuring value-based care. Of course. But, before I get to that I have 25 patients who will need 25 minutes of my time but will only get 12.

For the average Dr. Mary or Joe, setting sail into the future is exciting. Unfortunately, right now, it's more like having one foot on the dock and the other in the boat with the winds of change coming from all directions. We're going to need a lot of life preservers.