Let’s Get Real; Really Real
Dr. Jordan Shlain asked me to contribute to his new collection on Medium called Tincture.
I started Tincture to get the bright minds in healthcare to start ‘calling it like it is’ – no sugar-coating, and no dreaming about what could be. I am interested in highlighting the real problems that we face with tangible, real ideas about how to solve them. I have teamed up with Medium to create a ‘healthcare’ publication, which is non-commercial; so as not to create mis-aligned incentives. Read more about “What is Tincture?” to get the whole story. –Dr. Jordan Shlain
I am honored and humbled to have been asked to contribute to Tincture. Below is an excerpt from my first contribution, “The Commoditization of Medicine.” Read the full article on Tincture.
Losing the Farm
I grew up in the 1980s on a small farm in the Corn Belt. At that time, our farm of 80 acres was of reasonable size for us to make a living raising corn and milking dairy cows. During the ’80s, however, American farmers experienced The Farm Crisis – a turning away from the family farm to large corporate farming.
The Midwest was forever changed. Corporate farms became so efficient at growing corn that new markets were created. The corn syrup industry thrived, the soda industry flourished, and the ethanol industry was born.
In some ways, corn farmers have never known so much about their crop. In other ways, it seems they have never been so distant from it.
Healthcare in Crisis
Until recently, patients in American received the majority of their medical care in physician-owned practices that, over time, developed their own individual identity. Patients were free to choose the practice and provider that they felt best met their needs.
Over the past decade, however, the entire landscape of medicine has changed.
Access issues, rising healthcare costs, and government regulation have all served to drive massive consolidation in the healthcare industry. Meanwhile, the administrative burden and costs of doing business from smaller practices have dramatically increased – particularly with increased adoption of the electronic medical record. As a result, more and more small physician practices are selling out to hospitals or, alternatively, joining larger practices.
The end result of all of this consolidation is that medicine, more and more, is at risk of being reduced to a simple commodity.
Is Healthcare Really Just Another Commodity?
Read more on “The Commoditization of Medicine” on Tincture.