There’s been a lot of commentary on a recent article from the New England Journal of Medicine, detailing the undocumented tasks that a typical primary care physician performs.
For those who haven’t read the piece, entitled, What’s Keeping Us So Busy in Primary Care? A Snapshot from One Practice, it’s available free at the NEJM website. I highly recommend it.
To summarize, primary care doctors are responsible for much more than seeing patients in the exam room. In the cited practice, which has a fairly typical makeup, physicians were responsible for an average of over 23 telephone calls and 16 e-mails per day. Many practices don’t engage their patients over e-mail, so it’s conceivable that the number of telephone calls is lower than average here. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*
As we wrestle with political factions and mull over assorted ideas for reforming health-care in America, one simple solution bears discussion. Of course, we notoriously hate simple solutions. The modern American solution to simple solutions is to develop layers of complexity and inefficiency. I can only assume that in government, as in hospital administrations, this has to do with creating jobs. To the extent that it keeps nefarious, clever individuals off the street and occupies them in what passes for gainful employment, I applaud the effort. But it seldom solves problems, and typically creates them.
Nevertheless, I digress. My painfully simple solution is this. Allow every health-care provider to deduct, from their federal income tax, the care they provide for free to uninsured patients. It can be the Medicare value of the care; possibly even the Medicaid value. But in the end, a financially savvy doctor, dentist, therapist or any other health professional will end up paying no income tax. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at edwinleap.com*