Medical Economics celebrates its 90th anniversary

October 10, 2013

This month Medical Economics celebrates nine decades as the leading business publication for physicians, and it is coming in a period marked by historic economic change for healthcare.

 

Medical Economics October 1923 cover

Few magazines in the United States can rival the historical impact, depth of coverage, and reader loyalty Medical Economics has earned over the last 90 years.

This month the media brand celebrates nine decades as the leading business publication for physicians, and it is coming in a period marked by historic economic change for healthcare.

We are entering an entirely new era when it comes to healthcare delivery, access to care, new payment models, and changing roles for physicians in primary care and specialists. Never in history has a profession been held so accountable and so visible in terms of regulation, certification, financial disclosure, outcomes, documentation, liability, and a myriad of other areas.

And while the future course facing physicians is about to change, there is still one important principle and truth that stands the test of time in success or failure: economics. It’s key to our survival as a profession. It’s almost fitting and ironic that October 2013 marks another date that will forever change the economics of healthcare. That’s when Obamacare’s insurance exchanges will open for the first time. While opponents of the Affordable Care Act are doing last-minute maneuvering in Congress to financially cripple key provisions of the new law, it is already reforming health insurance, expanding access to healthcare, and creating a slew of new business and administrative challenges for physicians.

“While we should reflect and celebrate the many advances that have helped shape healthcare over the last 90 years, it’s even more important to guide the future health of this profession,” says Group Content Director Daniel R. Verdon. “That will continue to be the goal of this media brand.”

 “We live in unprecedented times,” adds Georgiann Decenzo, executive vice president of Advanstar Medical Communications Group.  “Physicians need answers and solutions to the important business-related challenges they face as professionals today. That is what Medical Economics is all about.” Decenzo leads a suite of Advanstar healthcare media brands including Medical Economics, ModernMedicine.com, Contemporary Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, Dermatology Times, Urology Times, Drug Topics, and others.

Ninety years ago physicians were dealing with some of the same business problems they face today-getting paid for services.

In fact, a recent survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians says payment reform ranks as the leading concern for family physicians. In October 1923, a passage in Medical Economics describes the issue this way:  “They say that  ‘confession is good for the soul,’  so let us admit from the start that the average physician is often a poor business man when collecting the money honestly due him. This should not be so.”

The 1923 solution? Publish a billing slip with this reminder:

“The Doctor is your best friend in time of trouble and just as in emergencies he strives to help you and yours. You should strive to help him by promptly paying his bills. It may seem a little thing in itself, but when you promptly send your check, you make it easier for the Doctor to mark your account ‘paid in full.’ And he does not forget. You will do it ultimately. Do it now. Thank you.”

While times change, and they bring new sets of economic challenges, it is clear in looking back to 1923 that some of our core economic problems will likely never be solved. But they can be improved. With your help, the editors of Medical Economics will offer you solutions to the business problems you face in this new era.

We’ll be kicking off a year-long celebration of physicians and their role in society. Look for more details in future issues.