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Doctors Should Be Paid On Outcomes, Not Procedures

Thursday, July 14th, 2016
Posted in Advice by Joel Gross

I was just in the gym of the hotel we are staying at on Kauai for our honeymoon and overheard a couple of doctors talking. The entire conversation was about how they generate revenue and how to get more. Neither of them mentioned quality of care or patient outcomes once.

Our healthcare system incentivizes doctors to perform as many procedures as possible at a high of cost as possible without regard to patient outcomes.

The more MRIs and chemotherapy sessions and other treatments each doctor does, the more money they make. One of the doctors said his practice makes $110 million a year from all the services he charges for.

I think our whole medical system is backwards – doctors should be paid for achieving certain patient outcomes.

Imagine if you could go to a doctor and you knew he was paid based on getting you to the best possible outcome – wouldn’t you feel a lot better if he recommended a dangerous procedure? Right now when you are recommended a dangerous procedure you have to worry about whether the doctor just wants to make his next boat payment or pay for his vacation to Kauai.

Research shows that there is a massive amount of unnecessary treatments and procedures done in America each year. As a matter of fact, the 3rd leading cause of death in our country is medical error! Let’s stop paying trillions of dollars for treatments that don’t work and push through reforms for how healthcare is provided and how doctors are motivated.

Wouldn’t you rather overhear doctors conversing about the latest in medical science and how to get the best patient outcomes rather than how they are generating more revenue with a new machine?