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Interesting medical bit, a novel idea from the past November 1, 2009

Posted by truthspew in medicine, Policy, politics, Reform.
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I remember house calls going out of vogue about the time I was 4 or 5 years old. Yes yes, I’m THAT old.

But now an old idea is new again.

A couple things jump out from the linked article. One is that the Missouri VA program for veteran care saw a drop in cost per patient of 62%! It went from $45,000 per year per patient down to $17,000. That’s no small feat.

The other little fact that really jumps out is that patients with multiple chronic conditions use up two thirds of Medicare money which approaches $500 Billion this year. If say we could realize the savings that the VA saw, we could chop that $500 Billion down to about $190 Billion. That’ where the savings multiply.

Another fact that jumps out about this new move, which by the way is included in the health care bills floating through congress. That is, patient outcomes IMPROVE when doctors make house calls.

The other little fact that really jumps out is that patients with multiple chronic conditions use up two thirds of Medicare money which approaches $500 Billion this year. If say we could realize the savings that the VA saw, we could chop that $500 Billion down to about $190 Billion. That’ where the savings multiply.

I’ve written about this before. If there’s one thing the U.S. is absolutely on top of it is emergency medicine. Education and technologies have evolved to the point that most every state has one or more Level 1 Trauma centers. The one near me is about 1.5 miles away. You can be shot, have a heart attack, stroke, etc. but the emergency folks can patch you up and keep you alive in most cases.

Where we absolutely fall down is on preventative medicine. And that is what doctors doing house calls would return to the equation.

But I think the reason we’re seeing such a fight over health care reform is because there are businesses out there that stand to loose a lot of money if we implement common sense ideas about medical care. Think about it, Medicare would save $310 Billion in costs. What could we do with an extra $310 Billion? Fix deteriorating infrastructure like roadways and schools? That’s just a start.

You have to look at who stands to lose when disruptive change like this occurs. The quick list I can think of is the hospitals, the insurance companies, the billing companies, the ambulance companies, cities (You think rescue runs are free?), and even states at some level.

The above is what I see as the prime opposition to true reform in health care. But we the people must let our legislators know that we know how disruptive this change will be, but we’re willing to work with them to see it passed.

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