The NYTimes had a story this week about paying doctors more so they can do more preventive maintenance for their patients.
What a concept.
It seems that we learn really basic concepts at a very early age: that often (not 100% of the time, but frequently) you get what you pay. If you want higher quality, you pay more. We also learned that if you do things right and carefully the first time, you won’t have to redo it later (I admit, this is a lesson I’m STILL trying to master).
The trend for our medical system, however, has been the opposite, leading to what we have now, which is harried doctors rushing from patient to patient paying a few minutes of attention.
But the NYTimes story points out that insurers are now applying these adages to medicine (as is Medicaid and Medicare). Higher compensation enables doctors to hire more staff to follow up with patients, answer questions when they call/e-mail and make sure they’re up to date on tests.
It seems funny to say this is an innovation (because it seems like common sense to focus on wellness up front before patients get too sick after receiving episodic or inattentive care)….but hope the trend continues