Thursday, May 14, 2009

Off topic

Kay and I are pretty much tired of talking about her disease. It is hard not to think about it, but we have spent 55 years each focused on something other than our day to day health, and to have it be such an all consuming issue is wearing.

Tonight I thought I'd write about a couple of other things. Click off if you are not interested.

Today I met with Marc Aversa, the SFM physician who is going to assume the medical director role July 1 when I step aside. One interesting topic that we touched on was one many business owners should be considering. What to do to prepare for what I think is going to be a lifetime influenza season this fall. We have our own issues as a medical practice, but today we focused on issues I anticipate relevant to most business owners and managers. How to prepare to keep going when much of your workforce is out sick, or afraid to come to work. What financial steps to take to prepare for a possible major slowdown (yes, possible slowdown as many patients are afraid to, or wisely choose not to go to the doctors office for routine health care services) in business volume.

I have also spent some time thinking about health care reform. I have very mixed feelings about this issue. Probably the one unequivocal feeling I have is being grateful to be at this stage in my medical career, not just starting. I feel strongly that somehow a country as vast and blessed with wealth and resources as the US should somehow be able to have some level of reasonable health care for all citizens. I also feel strongly the need for some degree of personal responsibility for choices and financial consequences of those choices. I realize that as a country we need to somehow manage health care spending to remain competitive in the world economy. The one thing I think Obama has wrong it trying to blend a lowest cost government option and an open market competitive system. I think this just creates nearly a single payer system without calling it a single payer system and reaping the efficiencies of a single payer system? Either have a single payer system or don't have a government sponsored and subsidized option. I think sooner or later we will have some version of a single payer system, but it seems that right now it is not politically viable to propose one. As physician I dread the thought of just being a government worker. As a consumer I dread the thought of seeking care in a government bureaucracy. As an American I feel resigned to some such system to allow us to compete in the greater world economy. We live in interesting times.

Pray for wise decisions by our leaders, and a less severe than I anticipate flu season this fall.


1 comment:

Sail Grace E said...

Interesting topic. How about going back to making house calls?? Cheryl :)

Kay, Ruthie sent you a little something in the mail :)