I am not surprised to learn that a keynote speaker to the American Medical Group Association would neglect to mention the patient. The following is a blog I recently posted, exactly to this point.
I'm a consultant. I fly a lot. Upon a recent visit to my grandchildren, my daughter and son-in-law engaged me in the following conversation:
"Can you believe the recent fiasco with Jet Blue? You travel all the time, Mom, how could they leave those people on the tarmack for nine hours, with no food, no water, unsanitary conditions on the plane, and no means of escape?" inquired my son-in-law.
To which my daughter responded,"Yeah, it's almost as bad as our doctor's offices." Being the healthcare marketing consultant, and the one who spent time and money researching physicians in their area upon their move to the Upper Midwest, I replied "Really, tell me more."
My daughter then noted the following:"As a teacher and stay-at-home mom -- read one small-income family -- with high insurance premiums, high deductibles, high first-dollar co-pays, and three kids age 4 and under, we spent one-third of our gross income last year on medical bills. We are now on a payment plan with the megagroup that our OB and pediatrician belong to. We pay on time, and continue to add to the balance, it seems, each week between typical childhood illnesses of one of the children, well-child visits, and our own health concerns. You would think we could at least be treated as valued customers. Quite the contrary. We are placed on hold when we call; calls after hours are not returned; we only see the pediatrician that you spent so much time researching when it's a well-child visit. The rest of the time when one of the kids is ill, the times that are most critical, we see whoever is seeing sick kids. They don't know us, they don't know the kids, and I don't know them. There is never any concern for what this costs us, nor is there any concern that we might have jobs or other responsibilities we have to leave for their hours. We are prisoners to their system. Don't get me wrong. When the kids are sick I'd do anything for them. But, if my husband stays home to help me so I can take them out to the doctor, he jeopardizes his job...the source of our healthcare coverage. And then, again with no regard for how we might be able to afford it, they send us eagerly to a specialist at every drop of a hat, and of course, the specialist is out of network and big into our co-pays."
So, she reflected, we are prisoners just like those Jet Blue passengers.
Isn't it time that transparency gave patients some rights? I did the research for my daughter to find a competent, well-trained, credentialed great pediatrician, and by his credentials, he should be one. Now, thanks to revolutionhealth.com, she can warn other parents about what the credentials don't say.
So, to learn that the AMGA had a keynoter who spoke to the audience for 45 minutes about what is wrong with their practices today, the challenges they face as physicians, and not once did they mention the word patient is really a travesty.
So, is it really any wonder that someone could compare their physician's office experience with that of the passengers trapped on that snowy tarmack on a Jet Blue plane?
Candace QuinnBrand=Experience McLean, Va.
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