The Changing Economics of Medicine
As physicians face increased pressure to focus not just on patient care but also on the cost of care, healthcare leaders need to find ways to minimize frustration and maximize value.
This article first appeared in the March 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
The healthcare industry's drive to reduce variation in order to achieve cost savings and improve outcomes and quality is changing how physicians practice, affecting their compensation, and impacting their satisfaction with the profession.
Some doctors are unhappy with the changes and say they do not recognize what their profession is turning into, nor do they believe it is better.
"Medicine has been turned into a business," says Robert Brenner, MD, a 63-year-old gastroenterologist who gave up his independent practice in San Diego in 2014 to become an employed physician at ProCare Odessa, the physician group that is part of the Odessa, Texas-based Medical Center Health System, a network that includes a 402-licensed-bed regional medical center and outpatient services that cover the 17-county west Texas region known as the Permian Basin.