"I just want to do what’s right for my patients. When I go to bed at night, I don’t worry about my future … I worry about theirs.”
This was the reaction of an internist recently when I asked how she gets through the day given all the stressors plaguing the profession, from meeting quality metric targets to dealing with technology intended to improve patient care, but that doesn’t deliver on the promise.
She didn’t bemoan her own lot in healthcare, but instead how patients are suffering. Many physicians face anxiety about their future reimbursement and the ever-uncertain state of private practice. But many more worry about the individuals who come through their doors for care.
In this, our annual “Fighting Back” issue, we look at the latest challenge for physicians affecting patients: value-based care. For physicians, the main concern isn’t deciphering what a payer—government or commercial—feels is “quality” or collecting the data to prove the metrics are being met. The overarching question is whether this is really good for patients.
But when given a challenge, physicians meet it. And they will with value-based care, just as they have with the myriad mandates they have faced over the years. They will adapt, adjust and get back to improving the lives of those seeking relief and compassion on a daily basis.
But the underlying symptoms plaguing healthcare today persist with daily visits from patients battling high-deductible plans, rising prescription prices and fear that a procedure could mean a life spent riddled with debt.