The most immediate benefit to physicians under this system is freedom from the unnecessary and unwelcome intrusion of managed care in medical decision making. Restoration of the doctor-patient relationship is at the core of this model.
While all physicians benefit from the restoration of the doctor-patient relationship, those physicians struggling to remain in private practice or those physicians wanting to leave an employed position to pursue a private practice opportunity derive yet another benefit from the sustainable healthcare model. The managed care model has had a parasitic relationship with private practice medicine. The initial profits within the managed care model were almost entirely derived by reducing the profit of physicians in private practice. Those physician profits were so stringently reduced over the ensuing decades as to drive more than 60% of physicians out of private practice and into employment arrangements. Essentially, the parasite killed its host.
The managed care model is now on the brink of destroying medicine as a profession and transforming it into a trade. One of the largest managed care entities in the country currently boasts that it is “transforming the art of medicine into the science of medicine.” There can be little doubt that this will translate into protocols developed by the managed care organization and imposed upon practicing physicians over their clinical judgment.
The science of medicine is basic and fundamental to the practice of medicine. The art of medicine is the application of that science to individuals, tailoring the science to the unique characteristics, nuances, and personalities of the individuals under treatment. This individualization of care is at the heart of private practice and separates excellence from mediocrity. It is the reason why almost everyone prefers seeing a physician who knows him or her to the physician on call at a local clinic. Therefore, the “transformation of the art of medicine into the science of medicine” is simply a recipe for cheap, mediocre healthcare being sold to us under the guise of “science.”
The sustainable healthcare model will revive, restore, and strengthen the private practice of medicine in the U.S. In doing so it will foster the art of medicine alongside the science of medicine, as both are important to maintaining the profession of medicine.
The profession of medicine cannot be maintained without autonomy and autonomy cannot be maintained without assuring economic viability. The sustainable healthcare model will therefore restore economic viability and prosperity to private practice medicine. It does so by eliminating the parasitic relationship between those who fund our healthcare and those who provide our healthcare. Employers in this model cannot enrich themselves by reducing the income of practicing physicians. Unlike the current managed care insurers, these employers cannot extract income from reduced physician revenue to fund elaborate corporate parties and vacations, increase market share through expensive advertising campaigns, reward investors, purchase competitors, and fund lavish executive lifestyles through bloated salaries and bonuses. Unlike the funds flowing into the hands of managed care, these funds remain in the healthcare system. If these funds are used for anything other than healthcare, the employer is subject to taxes on those funds along with substantial penalties. Therefore, once the fund has become self- sustaining, there exists little motivation on the part of the employer to restrict employees’ access to healthcare or to unfairly limit the earnings of their physicians.
For those physicians intent on remaining in private practice, there is only one clear choice. Donate today and join our movement. Together we can build a brighter future.