This is the first of a regular blog on healthcare. My hope is that this will stimulate thought within you, conversation among your peers, and engagement as physicians.
Over 30 years ago, a group of visionary physicians in Northern Michigan saw the importance of having a voice in healthcare and formed Northern Physicians Organization. The healthcare landscape continues to change and I believe there continues to be the need for physician leadership at the decision making table. There are two essential elements to HEALTHCARE. We currently live in a world where it seems the decisions are made and direction is influenced by big pharma, insurance companies, government, hospitals, big hospital systems and medical device companies. While important aspects of healthcare, none of these represent the two essential elements for healthcare to begin. HEALTHCARE BEGINS WITH A DOCTOR AND A PATIENT. Everything else comes after the doctor patient relationship because without those two, there is no healthcare. This is not to say that all the other entities of healthcare are not important, but often times the focus is lost. Physicians are caring for patients and that is the focal point of healthcare from which everything else builds. With the realization that the healthcare paradigm has changed since the “Marcus Welby” days of medicine, I believe we are at a crossroads with an amazing opportunity to be once again at the table of decision making for our patients and colleagues.
It is said, “if you are not at the table you are on the menu.” We all know that the healthcare system has run out of money and changes must be made. In my next blog, we will visit the concept of reimbursement which is changing from the “fee for service” environment to “fee for value”. I will explore what that means for our practices, our patients, and the healthcare environment. Please feel free to direct comments or questions to me or the NPO office. The future is bright when physicians work together.
Peter Sneed, MD
Northern Michigan Health Network President
NPO Board Member