Healthcare is one of the most critical determinants of this country’s future and it’s present. To the general public, getting the care that they need, affording it and understanding it are mounting in difficulty. There is fear that they will lose their coverage and be unable to afford it. And as current legislation struggles its way into law and then into execution, no one can tell, even the legislators themselves, where it will take us and what healthcare in the United States will look like next year and five and ten years from now.
And then, there are the difficulties that are present on the provider end. This is not visible to the public for the most part and would not be of primary concern. However, there is an exodus of capable clinicians out of medicine, out of relevant specialties such as primary care and obstetrics and general surgery. The drivers are lower reimbursement, an overly regulated environment, loss of control, litigation and malpractice concerns, pressures to move to Electronic Medical Records without immediate relevance, increasing paperwork, uncertain work conditions and business and administrative concerns and organizational savvy for which they have no training and yet for which there is a demand for proficiency.
In my recent discussions about the future of healthcare with key healthcare leaders the topics of the competitive environment in healthcare, the complexities of running the delivery organizations themselves, the challenges facing medical administration, the need for skills in teaming and communication amongst physicians and other healthcare professionals have all come into sharp focus. There is a growing awareness of the need to manage difficult healthcare personnel, a growing intolerance for the disruption that they cause and the lack of the skills and processes to effectively address them. Additionally, with continued pressure for mergers and acquisitions, changes in membership in medical groups and conflicts medical groups and between staff and administration are becoming more problematic as well.