The Western Health Care Leadership Academy Conference in San Diego provided an amazing review and discussion of health care policy. While everyone was unified in the goal of make health care more affordable while protecting physician quality of life, diverse opinions were represented regarding how to reach that end.
Healing Our Healers Through the Patient-Doctor Relationship: Speaker and student presentations from BRI’s 5th Annual Leadership Conference in St. Louis, MO.
We need all 320 million Americans asking “irrational” questions about healthcare. Questions that challenge the assumptions of the system like, “Why do I get more time with my hairdresser than my doctor?”
In a humble conference room in St. Louis, medical student attendees heard eight speakers from diverse backgrounds enlighten them about the promise of healthcare freedom and protecting the patient-doctor relationship, and showed them—as future doctors—how they can be excited again about a positive future in medicine.
At the 2016 Free Market Medical Association (FMMA) conference in Oklahoma City, I and my colleagues heard several speakers discuss how free market principles are currently being applied to healthcare. We also heard several ways in which these same principles can—and should—be applied in situations where they currently are not. Every speaker would then usually follow with something along the lines of: “It is up to us to make this change.”
When one is focused on negatives, desiring government involvement in an area like healthcare is not surprising. If we were able to divorce ourselves psychologically from politics, would that help us see all the benefits our country has to offer? We need to be focusing on our country’s positives, including our advanced level of medical care.
“We should be suspicious about the truth of prices if we ask healthcare insurance and other third party vendors whose livelihood depends on high prices. But what if there were a scenario in which third parties were optional, and knew that they needed to provide value, or find another line of business?” ~John Flo, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
People outside of our movement may call us uninformed, selfish, even radical. In his typically provocative way, Dr. Smith embraces these comments, playfully referencing Star Wars, calling conference attendees “rebel scum.” Yes, we are certainly rebels—rebels for the cause of free, principled medicine.
“Transparent pricing, without using third party insurance or third party payers, offers a way out of politics. It doesn’t require Congress passing a massive bill to completely reform the healthcare system. It just requires individual providers deciding that they want nothing to do with the corrupt third party payment system, where so-called “non-profit” hospitals pocket so much of the revenue. It is non-ideological and non-partisan. It is the best hope for a free market healthcare system that we have.” ~Daniel Milyavsky, MS2, Stony Brook University College of Medicine
Understanding healthcare policy and healthcare economics theory has become important even for doctors to practice medicine. Andrew Widener, medical student from The University of Texas McGovern Medical School addresses the economics of healthcare from an Austrian economics perspective. By understanding underlying economic principles, doctors will be better equipped to foresee and engage with both the positive and negative outcomes of healthcare policy.
Healthcare Economics from an Austrian Perspective, by Andrew Widener