Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The New Healthcare: A Doctor’s View (Part 1)

If You Had the Power of Choice Over Your Healthcare, What Would You Choose?

You may be thinking… “but I DO have the power of choice…don’t I?” You may have had power last year, 2013, but beginning in 2014 it’s slipping away fast.

As a provider of healthcare, my heart lies more in the “giving” end than the receiving one. But, as the mother of a family and having a body of my own to care for, I too am a consumer. As a consumer, I’m not happy with the healthcare changes occurring in our country. As a healthcare provider, I am downright furious.

On a personal note, my family and I have always had a high deductible insurance plan. Having our own clinic here at HealthNOW Medical and “practicing what we preach”, we are fortunately very healthy.

So why do we have insurance at all? I’m often asked that question. Here’s my answer: Life can bring its surprises. A high deductible plan is there in case of one of those unforeseen “Oh no!” moments we all hope never happen.

Additionally, having three children, two of whom we’re still supporting, we had our plan tied in with a health savings account (HSA) so that we could pay the dentist, eye doctor, etc. out of pre-tax dollars. I liked my HSA but I no longer have one. The new changes in healthcare (Obamacare) took it away from me. It’s true that some large corporations have negotiated keeping their HSAs for their employees, but our company of 20+ employees isn’t large enough to be eligible, sadly.

My new plan costs about 40% more and has no HSA. Maybe you too are paying more for your health plan this year and perhaps you too are getting less out of that plan.

Insurance reimbursements for doctors are being cut significantly this year. If you’re not a healthcare provider and you think doctors are overpaid, you may have little sympathy. But how would you feel if your paycheck decreased 30% starting January 1st?

Decreased reimbursements aside, let’s go back to our title: What type of healthcare would you like to have at your disposal? If you enjoy a brief visit to the doctor where you often feel rushed and leave with a prescription for a drug that you’d rather not take, then you’ll be quite happy with the direction healthcare is taking in this country. Visit Canada or Great Britain where socialized medicine has been in full swing for quite some time and see how the citizens enjoy it. Some think it’s great, I’m sure, but I don’t think they’re in the majority. You can’t get a test because you ask for it and you certainly can’t receive a test or procedure in a timely fashion unless you’re in a critically ill state. And even then you may have trouble with timely care.

As an example, say you’re curious if you have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. You may have to wait 9 months to a year to find out, or the test may never get approved. Exaggeration? No. I personally have spoken to many individuals living with socialized medicine and these are the stories I hear. For most of us, it’s hard to believe, that will be our new reality. So while some people think this is all just fine, they’re not me. They’re not me the clinician and they’re not me the consumer. How do you feel?

When I have something wrong with my body I want to know why. I want to know why and I want to know what I can do to fix it. “Fix” it, not mask it with a drug that has dangerous side effects and only works temporarily.

How about you? Do you like the quick, temporary fix model? Do you mind that your health worsens with each passing decade? Do you think it’s normal to be in your 40s or 50s and have to take medications, be overweight or already have heart disease, diabetes or some type of autoimmune disease? Heck! Do you think it’s normal to be that way in your 20s or 30s? Some people do. Certainly it’s “common” enough in our country, but is it “normal”?

No! I can tell you it is not.

Do you want to go to a doctor that will care enough about you to figure out what’s really happening within your body? Do you want to see a doctor that will hang in there with you and assist you in changing your lifestyle? Or would you truly rather just take a pill and make believe it’s all fine?

I really want to know what you think.

Honestly, regardless of what you say, I’m going to fight to the end to practice what we call “root cause medicine” – finding the reason underlying why you are ill – and stand up for what I think you deserve as a human being who owns an amazing machine we call a body. I’m going to fight for the right to have this type of healthcare available for you even if you don’t think you want it or need it. Why? Because I’m convinced that if I do my job, one day you WILL want it because you’ll truly need it. Or maybe someone you care about will need it. And when that day comes, I don’t want it to be too late.

And I will fight to have not just one HealthNOW but tens and maybe hundreds of HealthNOW clinics around the country that will be there for you, your children and grandchildren. Because socialized medicine (the direction we are heading) is scary, dangerous and will only make us sicker at a younger and younger age.

When we were on the phone yesterday with an Executive from a national Insurance carrier, she politely (and honestly) informed us that the government didn’t want our type of clinic. They are planning to stop direct payment to all out of their network clinics in 2015 because they want all doctors to join the large government subsidized hospitals in order to “control” them better. “Control” was her word, not mine.

She further stated that the average doctor would have to see at least 40% more patients in any given day in order to just break even with what they did last year. So if your doctor spent 10 minutes per visit with you last year, you can expect about 7 minutes this year as he or she endeavors to just break even. Unless the doctor is an OB/Gyn. They need to more than double their patient load, so expect less than 4 minutes if you’re a woman seeing your OB/Gyn.
Even if I wanted to play their game of seeing more patients per day, this same very honest executive informed us that we wouldn’t be accepted into their program for more than a year or two. Why? Because we order lab tests for our patients -tests that insurance companies don’t want to pay for. We don’t just prescribe generic drugs that cost little.

It’s amazing to me how short-sighted these companies can be. The government is happy to subsidize hospitals that can’t make it on their own because they’re forced to treat so many patients who are either gravely ill and often have no insurance, while simultaneously subsidizing the facets of the food industry (sugar, grains, meat, dairy) that cause the diseases that end people up in their hospitals… causing them a small fortune to treat!


Diagram courtesy of mercola.com

Look at my family. We pay our premiums, and insurance companies SHOULD love us. Why? We don’t spend their money. Everything we do falls within our very high deductible and they pay out nothing. Statistically speaking, they make money on patients like us. So why don’t they want more of them? It honestly makes no sense to me.

I really want to hear from you. What do you think? What type of care would YOU like to have available for you and those you love?

Do realize that I’m not suggesting the abolishment of hospitals, ERs or critical care. They need to be there. But what about root cause medicine? What about really getting healthy and preventing disease or reversing the one(s) you have? Does that interest you?

I can’t care for patients any other way. My conscience just wouldn’t allow it. But I do want to know what you think. Please let me know!

Visit us at www.RootCauseMedicalClinic.com. If you have questions or need any help, I’m here for you! Call 408-733-0400.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Happy New Year and as always, 

To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP

IFM Certified Practitioner

Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”

Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”

No comments: