Patients Reinventing Hospitals

Can we depend upon government-supported health care? As federal and state governments stagger under huge deficits and payments from entitlement programs such as Medicaid and Medicare are being cut back, what’s a hospital to do?

Put patients in charge.

Read full story in Becker’s Hospital Review.

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2 comments on “Patients Reinventing Hospitals
  1. bett martinez says:

    Great to have someone putting out all of this positive ideology in a time of change, that could/should be a time of opportunity!

    A movie that sounds interesting to me is 9000 Needles. Story of a guy in Ohio with kids and a wife who has a disabling stroke at 40. Apparently he’s not given much hope by the Western docs, so his brother, a straight up guy, takes him to China for medical, acupuncture and healing treatments…so inexpensive they were able to make a movie.
    And while he’s not perfectly recovered, he’s better than his prognosis…

    …and he’s going back.

    So, do you think we’ll have to resort to Medical Tourism to get the system you’re talking about? Or will that ideal medicine be only reserved for folks who can afford it?

    AS far as Blended Care, or whatever you want to call it, it’s somewhat available under one roof – Len Saputo in CA has been practicing “Health Medicine” for years; I saw a place called Wellspring in OR last year, and then there are places in Arizona, combining stuff happening at UofA (Schwartz, Weill) with spas.

    But bringing this to the middle class, like the guy in 9000 Needles? You, the doctor, seeing a patient for 1/2 hour and getting paid enough to run your office, including a wizard who knows how to bill the insurance company in these times of flux (Wellness Visits w/$0 co-pay? — define please). Do you have a business plan?

    I’m not skeptical. I WANT to see this happen. But every day in Berkeley I experience the divide between what patients want and what they can get.
    Needing to protect themselves from catastrophic costs – which can be a trip to the emergency room in the middle of the night, or a baby who develops liver cancer – and consigning themselves to paying out of pocket for the actual options they use to maintain a state of well-being even with chronic conditions.

    As to seeing a patient for 1/2 hour, as a doctor, yes, I know that’s key! I asked Bruce Bodaken, CEO of Blue Shield CA, to take a sampling of about 1000 patients with high deductible health plans that paid for one annual visit, and let them see their doctor for 35-45 mins. and then record if their lifestyles and general health status had improved by the end of the second year. He said it sounded good, but he didn’t take me up on it. Just one visit a year.

    So, please let me know what your good ideas are. I found you on KevinMD, and it was a breath of fresh air…


    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      Yes, Bett, this is happening! Time is ripe for local innovative models as centralized systems fail to meet human needs. A few resources that
      you may find useful are my website:
      and there is a map under ideal clinics link with docs all around the country who are “thinking globally by acting locally.”

      This is not about using medical tourism or creating a two-tiered health-care system to solve our problems. This is actually a populist movement of physicians and patients, Americans working together to do what’s right for one another ~ and nobody is turned away for lack of money.

      We’ve been open six years. We’re a clinic designed by the community!
      It’s not rocket science.

      I’ll check out 9000 Needles. . . .

      Keep in touch Bett. We’re on to something!

      ~ Pamela

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