Sunday, May 25, 2014

Health Reform Accelerants 

Anything that accelerates.


I shall touch upon on how and why ObamaCare has accelerated health care change. ObamaCare is an accelerant.  It is gas on the fires of health care change. 

These health care  fires were already smouldering and  flickering when Obama assumed power. Now the fires are blazing.

ObamaCare is only one of many accelerants.   Before Obama,  other accelerants included what Alvin Toffler in Future Shock (1970) described as “that great growling engine of change- technology…technology is indisputably a major force behind the accelerative thrust."

Among these technologies are:

·         The imaging technologies –CT, MRI, and PET scans – which  spread like wildfire starting in the 1970s,  quickly became a standard of care, pushed radiologists to the top of the physician income pile, and contributed to the rise in overall health costs.

·         Improvements  in anesthesiology techniques , which made many operative procedures possible in outpatient centers and accelerated the establishing of ambulatory surgical centers and the frequency of surgeries performed in these centers.

·         The introduction of minimally invasive surgical procedures, led by gallbladder endoscopic removal, since extended to removal of other organs, and to spinal column, joint, and other procedures.  More recently,  robotic surgeries using the de Vinci type equipment, have extended the reach of minimally invasive techniques.

·         Advances in the uses of the applications of medical electricity devices – everything from pacemakers, to electric nerve stimulators,  to insulin pumps, to remote monitoring devices,  to telemedicine, to the birth of the new field of bioelectronics, which may gradually replace drugs to treat disease.

·         The explosion of information technology applications, with instant feedback and instant connections and instant medical communication, as in the social media and instant networking among multiple players in diverse health care fields.

·         The use of technologies of various sorts to help an aging population in its search for perpetual young and beauty as manifest in such things as botox injections, facial rejuvenation,  nonsurgical face lifts, body contouring,  cellulaz, and cosmetic and cataract laser surgery.

·         The rise of the concept of Business at the Speed of Thought, the title of a 1999 book by Bill Gates of Microsoft ,  and the application of that thought among Steve Jobs of Apple and other American entrepreneurs, who thought differently as described in this 1998  Apple slogan.

       Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits.
The rebels. The trouble makers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules and
They have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them.
But the only thing you can’t do
Is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as
The crazy ones, we see genius
Because the people who are
Crazy enough to think
They can change the world.
Are the ones who do.

      The counter reaction to ObamaCare,.   Because of ObamaCare's disruptions,   its uncertainties,  its negative impacts on hiring of full-time workers,  its drag on the economy, its restrictions and narrowing of choices,  its unintended rises in premiums and deductibles,   and its demoralizing influence on doctors and hospitals, ObamaCare  has spurred even more rapid change.  

      For hospitals, it’s the Wild West, with hospitals closing, merging, consolidating  with rise and fall of new consortiums.  For doctors, it’s being employed by hospitals,   putting together Top Doctor and other premier quality networks,   advertising specialized expertise,   offering consumer-friendly non-medical products,  and converting  to direct, independent, cash-only practices free of 3rd party government or insurer involvement  featuring quicker access,  more attention, and transparent upfront bundles of care.

Tweet:   Due to rapid technological changes,  often information and Internet driven,   change in health care is accelerating, both towards and away from ObamaCare.

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