Saturday, June 1, 2013

Behavior Of Medicine

We complain about doctors and medicine, and about doctors treating symptoms and not illnesses.

In speaking with a client, I realize the problem is economic. I come from a finance and economic background, one of the things we used to always tell our company was, if you want to change our behavior, change our incentives. Incentives drive behavior. Economic determinism.

In medicine, the doctor, the hospital, gets paid for procedures not for counseling and guidance. There isn't even a billing code they can punch in for giving a patient just sound advice or good bedside manner. It's why specialists make more than primary physicians.

Sometimes the opposite extreme happens, a primary care doctor turns all "natural" and keeps telling you all the ways you are sick through "holistic tests" which is also chargeable, and diagnose you with illnesses still unrecognized by medicine. They are limited in the procedures and amount of tests they can do before they can refer you out, so why not charge you for their own brand of all natural supplements, or their diet drug.

If you want to change medicine, we have to change incentives. Government healthcare or private healthcare cannot begin to create changes until we change medical billing.
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