What happened to the family doctor?
Primary-care doctors take care of the young, the old and the in-between; the sick, the well and the dying. Ideally, they're familiar with us and our family history, have a comprehensive overview of our various ailments and medicines and provide us continuity in the world of fragmented medical specialties. But their trade, they say, is getting trickier and more time-consuming, and that's fast making them an endangered species. Patients, they say, want more from their doctor these days -- more office hours, more email and phone contact, more follow-up, more coordination with specialists and insurers, more discussion about options and more expertise on more topics (aided and abetted by that constant TV-ad refrain, "Ask your doctor if X is right for you"). And the healthcare system expects more of doctors too -- more preventive services, more care for chronic diseases, more healthful lifestyle coaching, more screening for depression and risky behavior (guns? cigarettes? bike helmets?), more delicate discussions (prostate biopsy? end-of-life wishes?), more documentation and now electronic records too.
- As Medicare Advantage Cuts Loom, Disagreement Over Program's Stability
- Doctors Feel Pressure to Accept Risk-based Reimbursement
- Surgical Checklists Unused in 10% of Hospitals, CMS Data Shows
- Centralizing the Revenue Cycle Protects the Bottom Line
- CA Fines 8 Hospitals for Medical Errors
- A Fresh Look at End-of-Life Care
- 3 in 4 Patients Want E-mail Consultations
- Heart Attack Patient Costs Skyrocket Beyond 30 Days
- ACGME Chief Sees 'Huge' Risk of Error in Proposed Assistant Physician Licensure
- 3 Insider Tips on Cutting Costs without Strangling Growth