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Thoughts from a Physician: Our Broken U.S. Healthcare System

American flag with mask and stethoscope
May 31, 2024

Welcome back to another episode of "Balls Deep," the podcast that blends humor with expert medical insights to help you optimize your performance in every aspect of life. Today, we're tackling a topic that affects us all: the broken U.S. healthcare system.

Why is it Difficult for Patients to Access the Right Doctors?

One thing that may rile patients up is getting an appointment with the right doctor. It can be so frustrating, as it’s always complicated or discouraging from beginning until end involving calling phone queues, disinterested agents, or even obtaining appointments after months of waiting. This difficulty results from inefficient administrative processes combined with an imminent shortage of physicians. For example, many doctors who are currently working will retire, and this will therefore create more challenges regarding accessibility.

The Importance of Transparent Pricing

A simple handheld calculator with a blue stethoscope encircling it to illustrate medical costs

Additionally, another problem in this sector is hidden costs as they relate to healthcare provision in the USA. Oftentimes, patients come across unclear price information and end up with huge unexpected bills ranging into thousands of dollars without them knowing how it happened like that. Insurance companies and healthcare providers have a very obfuscated relationship where there exists varying prices even within the same state. Until systems move towards more upfront pricing models for patients, there shall be no change.

Bettering the Patient Journey

What makes seeing a physician such an agonizing experience? The whole experience in hospitals is characterized by coldness and stressfulness, among other things. From outdated waiting rooms to impersonal treatment, the current system fails to prioritize patient comfort and trust. To change this would require reorienting treatment away from medicine itself towards applying customer service principles found elsewhere outside the healthcare domain equally well, if not better, than anywhere else too because patients also want to feel valued throughout their journey until discharged.

Looking Towards Change

In our own practice, we have attempted to improve the patient experience in all its entirety. This involves better communication, up-to-date and clean facilities, as well as empathy and understanding being given high priority. Although price transparency is still an area where we are working hard for, more than anything else, it is the intention that each interaction should be smooth and stress-free.

Giving Power Back to Patients, Empowering Physicians

Man smiling at computer while talking with his doctor on the computer screen

It is very significant that patients should feel empowered about demanding quality healthcare. If your healthcare provider does not meet your needs or expectations, visit another one. Also, doctors need to come together and demand changes in the system so that patients’ lives can come first long before profits do. We may start by changing how telemedicine utilizes technology, as well as providing information resources.

Learn more about us and get more insights and information on how we can provide you with the healthcare you deserve.

Disclaimer: This podcast is for informational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your healthcare provider for any medical conditions.

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