It will not come as a surprise to hear that it is my strong belief that the U.S. has a “Sick Care” system masquerading and being promoted as a health care system. Out of all of the developed countries in the world the U.S. spends more money (by far) on healthcare than any other nation and yet we have some of the worst outcomes when it comes to chronic disease management. The vast majority of our health care dollar is spent on “Sick Care.” Even our current medical education system is designed to beat students into Sick Care conformity. I recently came across an interesting article from HCPlive that discusses ways we can move from a Sick Care system to an actual health care system and I thought I would share my thoughts on some of them
1. Change the rules. If drugs and surgery is what is paid for by third parties than that is what will continue to be prescribed. Policies should move to reward disease prevention and health maintenance.
2. We need to change how we educate the 21st century healthcare workforce. Less than 25% of U.S. medical schools provide the recommended 25 hours of nutrition education. In addition to this, students should be taught the bioentrepreneurship, digital health, and population management knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to serve their communities.
3. Target research and development funds to chronic diseases: Chronic disease is responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. and accounts for 86% of our healthcare cost yet the vast majority of research and development funds are spent on the latest greatest pharmaceutical or medical device
4. Empower patients to take control of their health by giving them the information, resources, networks, and incentives to take care of themselves and other family members. I feel our current system is designed to make patients ‘customers’ for life and utilize more and more of the system as they get older. I would like to build a model that focuses on patient empowerment where the patient and practitioner are partners on the journey of health with the ultimate goal of becoming independent of the health care system. I like to remind people that the true meaning of doctor is teacher, not healer.
5. Create innovative non-brick and mortar care delivery channels that are easy to use, cheap and accessible. One way I plan to do this at Premier Integrative Health is to utilize telemedicine. If we need to go over your lab results and you don’t have time to come in for an appointment then we can do it over a secure video conference from you home or office (or beach).
6. Take advantage of social media and other consumer facing platforms to change behavior. When people use social media and other digital platforms to become part of a health and wellness “community” they tend to be much more motivated to succeed. Social media is also a great way for healthcare providers to disseminate the latest health science information that previously could have taken years to make it to the public eye
Buckminster Fuller famously said “In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete.” I feel like this rings very true with our current healthcare crisis and if you ask me the new emerging model that will change this is Integrative and Functional Medicine
I am hoping to be able to start seeing patients at my new practice in the beginning of March and would love the opportunity to partner with you on your journey to achieve optimal health