After a professional psychiatric career of more than 43 years, Dr. Lee Beecher has experienced wave after wave of healthcare "reforms" - some good and some not so good. Dr. Beecher believes that every reform should focus on the patient, not on management systems.
Currently there is an over-reliance on mental health managed care. Mental health diagnoses and treatment in 2017 is almost exclusively defined and paid for by third party payers (insurance companies, government) rather than chosen and directed by patients and families. It is a mindless process of linking (pairing up) allowable DSM or ICD diagnostic codes with allowable (CPT) procedural coding.
The best medicine happens when physicians who are passionate for their patients partner with patients who are passionate for their own care.
"For the best outcomes, patients must take control of their own healthcare decisions," Dr. Beecher says. "This includes having skin in the game."
How did Dr. Beecher reconcile his passion for passionate patients? "We both had skin in the game."
Taken one way - physicians with passion for patients - is a primary qualification for the practice of medicine. Taken another way - passionate patients - is a primary qualification for successful health and the most efficient use of medical care.
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Dr. Beecher shared breakfast with two other health care leaders - ePatientDave - Dave deBronkart - and Twila Brase of Citizens Council for Health Freedom. Dr. Beecher shared a copy of Passion for Patients with both of them at the breakfast meeting, and Ms. Brase shared her book, Big Brother in the Exam Room.