Are You Serving Your Fellow Citizens?
I was listening to some economists talking about different subjects and I really liked how Dr. Walter E. Williams, a professor at George Mason University, defines economic activity. He describes how persons within an economic system get recognized with ‘certificates of service’ for services rendered. For example, if you mow someone’s lawn, they will reward you with a certificate of service. In our economy we call these certificates of service: ‘money’. I like the way this explains why some people have a lot of money and some people have very little money. In most cases those who have a lot of money have performed a lot of service to their fellow citizens.. Those who have not served their fellow man, have very few corticates of service-money.
Think about it: A professional athlete or entertainment star performs a valued service for the owners, who are willing to pay millions of dollars for the performance (service) that these persons provide. The customers of the product (games or films) value the service (entertainment) that is provided by the owners or producers and show their appreciation by giving them certificates of service for tickets to the events. Athletes and entertainers have millions of dollars because they provide a service to millions of people. A cashier at a retail store or a janitor provide service to small number of people daily and are given a small number of certificates for their services. You may not think this is fair, but it is the reality of our economic system.
So the question for the healthcare provider is: “Do I provide services for my fellow man?” I would have to believe that the answer to this question is yes, you are provided certificates of service for the services you render to your clients. If you want to increase your income, the next question then becomes; “How do I increase my service to my clients or to additional clients?” The answer to that question will depend on the perception of the value that you provide to your clients.
One problem with the perception of value that you provide to your patients is the current notion being touted by socialized medicine advocates is the (false) concept that health care is a ‘right’. American citizens do not have to pay a fee for the exercise of any of the other enumerated rights in the constitution. The rights to free speech, exercise of religion, free press, and the pursuit of happiness do not require you pay any other person a fee to exercise this right. IF (and it is a big if) there is a right to healthcare, then why should any one have to pay a fee to exercise this right. That is where the argument that medical care is a right is false, in my opinion. But, in any event, if enough people feel that healthcare is a right, then they will place little value on the health care that they receive and will be less willing to pay for the care received. People will begin to demand their ‘right’ to healthcare and not provide a certificate of service, because they feel that none is required.
Even in today’s healthcare climate, there are few people who provide a certificate of service to their healthcare providers. In most cases the payment is provided by a third party- an insurance company or employer. The entity providing the healthcare provider with the certificate of service does not feel that they should provide the payment because the service was not renders to them, the service was rendered to someone else- the patient. Since the insurance company did not receive a service, the patient did, they will only pay the healthcare provider the minimum required under any contractual agreement with the provider. To the insurance company the healthcare provider did not perform a service, they cost them money, by providing a service to another individual.
In order to increase the number of certificates of service that the healthcare provider will receive in the future , they will need to make sure that they are providing a service that the public values. The trend currently in place is to devalue the services provided by healthcare providers, and this perception needs to changed so that services provided by healthcare providers will continue to be valued.
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Thursday, 15 September 2011
posted by Dr. Susan S. Sykes
I understand what you are saying, but I think the system is severly skewed. Also, there is a small percentage of the population who have lots of money, but don't seem to provide much service to anyone.
The caution I would like to propose is that, if we are paid based upon the QUANTITY of service, does that then negate the need for QUALITY of service.
I serve fewer people than a "rack 'em, crack 'em, herd them through" doctor of chiropractic and therefore received less monetary compensation. My patients. however, greatly appreciate the QUALITY of the service I give them. In essence then, I am being penalized for providing QUALITY over QUANTITY, since the insurance companies pay the same no matter what.
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