Stars in Alignment - Physicians Must Lead

May 28, 2009 | William T. Choctaw MD, JD | Health Musings
Stars in Alignment - Physicians Must Lead

image by: Tomasz Sienicki

The current administration appears to be serious about enacting health care reform, so where are the physicians?

In the latest issue of the National Journal, Ronald Brownstein examines the steps the Obama Administration is taking to engage stakeholder groups on key legislative issues and how President Obama's "inclusive nature" may yield dividends for health care reform.

Recently a group of national stakeholders in health care reform met with President Obama and pledged to decrease health care costs by more than 2 trillion dollars over the next 10 years. A savings of $2,500 for each American family would result. The group plans to reach this goal by focusing on five main areas:

  • Improving care after hospitalizations and reducing hospital readmission rates
  • Reducing Medicare overpayments to private insurers through competitive payments
  • Reducing drug prices
  • Improving Medicare and Medicaid payment accuracy
  • Expanding the Hospital Quality Improvement Program

However laudable the group’s intent, the healthcare cost reduction process demands physician leadership in order for the process to remain patient friendly and protective. No longer should the MD and MBA be “mutually exclusive.” Doctors are the strongest and only true patient advocates because of the doctor-patient relationship and their relative independence in providing care.

And most importantly, we physicians have a moral, ethical, and legal imperative to commit to health care reform this year. This past Sunday the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald published an editorial, urging Congress to pass health reform this year and cited the increasing percentage of uninsured Americans and the increasing price of prescription drugs as two of the most pressing reasons to reform health care.

It seems that everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. So, where are the physicians? Let's lead and get it right the first time around.

William T. Choctaw MD, JD is a healthcare leadership expert, He lectures nationally on many medical legal issues for hospital medical staffs, hospital executives, and managers. He recently authored the book, “Avoiding Medical Malpractice: A Physician’s Guide to the Law.” Dr. Choctaw continues to practice general surgery in Southern California.

Introducing Stitches!

Your Path to Meaningful Connections in the World of Health and Medicine
Connect, Collaborate, and Engage!

Coming Soon - Stitches, the innovative chat app from the creators of HWN. Join meaningful conversations on health and medical topics. Share text, images, and videos seamlessly. Connect directly within HWN's topic pages and articles.

Be the first to know when Stitches starts accepting users

The Latest from Health Musings

It's Time to Get Ballsy
It's Time to Get Ballsy

Guys: check yourselves, know your balls and tell someone if you find something new or different. Don't be shy, we all have balls and want to keep them - Brent Dirks, TC survivor

If I Get Breast Implants Too Big Will I Tip Over?
If I Get Breast Implants Too Big Will I Tip Over?

Probably not. But, bigger is better, at least that is the American way of life. We drive big cars, we live in big houses, we eat supersized meals and we drink big gulps sitting in front of a big screen TV

Get More Than Sushi With Your Sushi
Get More Than Sushi With Your Sushi

Eating sushi can be hazardous, but then again so can eating healthy

Stay Connected