My humble attempt at a positive change in our healthcare system.

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

After spending some 15 years working in healthcare administration before embarking on my real estate career I had the pleasure of seeing many good and bad policies. Not all healthcare is bad as some would have you believe.

The first item that needs to be addressed is the decline in the number of good physicians entering the field. This trend started some 30 years ago when our best and brightest thought they would become Wall St tycoons or Lawyers instead of doctors because that was where the money was to be made. The rising cost of malpractice insurance coupled with the cost of medical school scared many away. Now we have a shortage that effects all of us.

My solution is to subsidize the cost of medical school to those promising students in exchange for a gaureenteed stay in the field for a specified length of time, similar to the approach used by the military to get and train good pilots. Then we need to pass legislation limiting the amount of jury awards to those who suffer from a loss due to malpractice. I know first hand the actual reserves that have to be carried by most hospitals on their books is astronomically high. If Wall street brokers were forced to carry similar insurance then we probably wouldn't have had our current financial meltdown.

The next step should be to limit totally unecessary and expensive tests and treatments.  We should not all feel entitled to these tests just because we want them.  We should also realize that the answer to all problems does not come in pill form and that not all big pharma costs are not validated. For instance we are bombarded with television and print ads (which cost huge sums of money) for various presciption drugs that we "should ask our docter about" Really now, how many of us are really smarter than our doctor?

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Anonymous #1
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John, excellent idea to subsidize medical school costs!  I love you last question.  My answer is, sometimes I am smarter than my doctor.  All doctors are catered to by big pharma, literally catering in lunch once a month.  So when a doctor writes an prescription, which ones do you think they will recommend?  The ones big pharma told them were the best.  A while ago my doctor gave me an RX for what I call a designer antibiotic.  The cost was $176, I paid 40.  The next time I needed an antibiotic I asked for, and was given a prescription for a generic brand.  My cost, zero.  We all need to be proactive, research what we're being given and make our own decision as to whether we need it or want it.   However, given this is the era of instant gratification, and easy peasy quick health care fixes, most people would rather pop a pill than take responsibility for their health care issues.

February 27, 2009 01:26 PM
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Lane Bailey
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What about eliminate "cover everything" insurance.  Make it what it once was... insurance to cover unexpected expenses.  Think if your car insurance covered EVERYTHING.  What would happen to the cost of an oil change, engine rebuild... or even an accident.  The costs would go through the roof... 

Too many people are paying NONE of the costs per service.  People should pay a percentage of the bill. 

Secondly, ANY healthcare provider could change ANYTHING they want, but they would have to charge every patient the exact same, and all of their service prices would have to be public (the internet would do well for this).  Rating agencies would spring up to rate the quality/cost of various providers.

February 27, 2009 08:31 PM
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John Guiney

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