Trimming the Fat; Healthcare Changes We Can Make

President Obama has called upon all citizens to rise to the challenges facing our nation.  He has consistently said that the government can assist, but it’s up to us to make the necessary changes.  Part of what it takes to make change is tightening the belt to pay for the witless excesses of the past.  Whether it’s energy or healthcare, these changes must include changing the way we do things.  One cannot continue to perform the same actions and expect different results.

Tightening the belt isn’t just for the rest of the nation.  We within the healthcare industry must make a painfully candid examination and see where we could afford to be less chubby, too.  Details of the President’s original budget proposal suggest that $643 billion in taxes over the next ten years will be no more than a down-payment on ensuring that everyone has health care available to them.

Take a look around you, and ask yourself where you’ve got some excess.  Consider time and materials.  What could the practice do without?  Look for the fat.  One office I visited recently had a couple large flatpanel TV screens in the lobby to keep patients occupied while they wait.   Thousands of dollars spent to look snazzy, when a $15 a year subscription to National Geographic would have served the same purpose?  Who pays for that?  The cost comes from the patients pockets, but eventually we all pay for that blatant luxury. Every little bit matters, and it all adds up.

Also take a look at other ways in which you could reduce the costs. Though it may not be popular, consider reducing your fees on procedures.  Do you really need to be charging that much in order to keep your practice afloat?  Could you perhaps afford to cut prices a bit, play a few less rounds of golf a year, to help make Health something we can all afford to live with?  An honest belt-tightening will show that we can all pitch in to make the goal more readily attainable.  The reduction in income will lower your taxes a little, while providing people with the changes they need immediately, right now.

Another oft forgotten aspect is prevention — both in patients’ habits and the operation of the office.  Medical Justice, for example, has several methods to reduce the risk of damage to your practice.  A quality Professional Malpractice protection provider will also be working with you, offering ways to reduce your exposure to frivolous lawsuits, providing informative articles and reminders.  Malpractice suit avoidance doesn’t necessarily mean redundant testing that will add to the cost.  Some steps may be as simple as adding a bit of phrasing to your waiver form, or a free professional review of your policy’s coverages,to make sure they are appropriate for your practice.  You want comprehensive protection, without spending any more than necessary.   Whether you’re a client of Presidio Insurance or not, the door and phone lines are always open.  We’re glad to be able to be of assistance.

As we face this economic crisis and set about changing the way we, as a nation, provide for the health and well-being of our fellow citizens, it’s both inspiring and reassuring to see us coming together, working intelligently towards that greater good.  Together, collectively, each of us doing a part, we can make a major difference, do some good.  Isn’t that why we got into medicine in the first place?

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