Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Cost of Health Care, cont

I recently had my attention recalled to an article in New Yorker about medical costs, an article that paints a group of doctors and hospitals as the culprits rather than insurance companies. It’s a good article; I recommend it to you. It rather dashes the popular “demonize insurance companies to solve the problem” meme.

The article refers to Mayo Clinic and talks about their philosophy of putting patient care first, then says that lower cost resulted almost as a by-product. It reminded me of a conversation I had with my nephew, who works in the IT field at the Mayo. He said that one of the things he liked about them was that when discussing the implementation of a new system the first question that management would ask was always, always, “How does this affect patient care?” The question of cost sometimes didn’t come up at all, and when it did it was always secondary to the issue of patient care.

I have been a patient at Mayo Clinic; I went there because I was having a medical issue and, after shuffling from one cardiologist to another in San Diego I was not getting any relief. Mayo found the problem and corrected it when doctors in San Diego could not. I absolutely believe what my nephew says about their management. I received a weekly schedule of my appointments and doctors were always on time. They would come into the room and sit down, and after asking me a question would actually listen to my answer. It’s the only time in my life that I didn’t absolutely hate being a patient.

1 comment:

  1. it's an excellent article, written and researched by a doctor. It should be required reading for all politicians and anyone with an interest in this reform process. Thanks for posting