Healthcare Essay

1667 Words Jun 9th, 2016 7 Pages
Phillip Waite
Final Paper: Value‐based Care and the Physician
The change to a value‐based system of healthcare reimbursement is something that I find rather daunting and somewhat scary. The traditional fee‐for‐service system, with all of its flaws, was quite simple to understand—you pay for the care that is given and if you don’t want to pay more, take care of yourself outside of the physician’s office. But, I guess my fear and apprehension about value‐based reimbursement have their foundation in not fully understanding the change and not being able to foresee its impact far into the future. Now, nobody can predict the future, but as I’ve come to find out, that plays a big role in remaining profitable in a value‐based
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Moreover, it sounds like it should cut costs and provide patients with better care. But, from where are those primary care provider going to come? New physicians enter the workforce at an almost steady rate of 26,000/year. Medical schools have a difficult time increasing class sizes and the number of residencies each year is pretty fixed. Efforts are being made to increase the number of residency programs in the United States, but it is predicted that by 2020, the United States will face a shortage of
90,000 physicians.3 Moreover, as the population ages, more specialty physicians will be needed, leaving the pool of physicians that are primary care providers even smaller. So, we need to increase the number of primary care providers while already facing a shortage of physicians. Despite the dire circumstances of physician shortages, there are many opportunities to be considered that might improve patient access to not just primary care, but sometimes specialty care as well.
The first possibility would be to continue to change the mix of primary care providers. Not all primary care providers need to be physicians or even more specifically, M.D.’s. There are more and more doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) in the workforce than in the past. They might still face residency programs issues, but they have been a boon to the physician workforce in recent years. Aside

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