Imagine...what we could do together. Imagine a healthcare system that actually worked for us. Imagine if we hired the researchers to find the answers to the questions that we cared about.
Imagine...that we put together design teams of patients to design healthcare from the ground up. To say, "This is how it should work," "This is what works for me in my day to day life." Imagine if we as patients told the government and told industry, "This is what we expect, this is how we are going to ask for it to work and eventually demand for it to work." Again, being constructive, cooperative seeking, to make this work for everyone, but it being about healthcare and patients first and foremost.
We have been sold down-the-river in many ways in healthcare. If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.
I was speaking only a couple days ago with the chief medical officer of a major international corporation. He was telling me how they are really struggling in managing their healthcare costs, especially in the area of specialty pharmaceuticals. A lot of these new medications that should not be expensive that have somehow gotten a corner on the market, based on how our government is somehow managing the non-system of healthcare today...they can charge whatever they want.
Our government has set rules on itself that says it can’t negotiate on behalf of its citizens in regards to pharmaceutical prices! The pharmaceutical companies set whatever price they want and we all have to pay it. This is insane! If you're not outraged, start paying attention.
It is craziness that we can't even access our medical records for one doctor to show them to another doctor so that they can know best what's going on to best help us.
The reason we have this craziness is again fundamentally about money and business. Everyone is trying to carve out their turf, control market share and make as much money as possible. It is not fundamentally about patients. We need to speak up and say, "This is how this electronic stuff is going to work soon or we are going to start voting in mass and start demanding that we are only going to see certain providers and only pay for certain things."
Imagine...a system where patients at the federal level of the whole country were making the decisions on what research got funded. Not academic centers, career issues... but what actually matters to patients. This is the kind of thing that we can do, if and when we come together. Which is what we are clearly headed for with Patients United.
Imagine...a system where patients determined what doctors learned...education that actually best served patients.
Our current medical education system is archaic, it is struggling to keep up with current technology and with the changes in healthcare. The only way it is ever going to make sense and stay current is if patients are designing with medical professionals the kind of healthcare that they are going to be looking for now and into the future. How insane is it that patients are not involved in medical education.
Imagine...a system where your healthcare was not defined by, stuck within the boundaries of, the current healthcare system that says you have to go to an office visit or you cannot receive care that will be covered by us. How wonderful would it be for both patients and providers to say, "Let us out of the box, let us figure out what our actual needs are, and let us figure out how to solve those needs." Whether it is a phone call or a video conference or even by email. Lets do a system that actually makes sense and is not fundamentally about insurance billing codes and control of the money flow by industry.
Imagine...a system where we as consumers were not at the mercy of advertising craziness, whether it be the pharmaceutical industry or the supplement industry.
Imagine...a healthcare system where patients designed the paperwork!
Number one, we would have very little paperwork. I can tell you that for sure. Number two, we wouldn't have these five-page, fine-print documents for informed consent, that you're theoretically supposed to read through to understand all the legalities, and then sign your life away. What if it was actually designed by patients? What if it was actually readable by patients? What if that was then made the standard everywhere?
Only through a patient organization like Patients United can we make that happen.
Imagine...a healthcare system where we created the standards.
We have all these health related organizations, they do their fundraising and big PR initiatives. They put on a fundraiser to figure out a cure for this particular cancer, and they are having this public event that is all about burgers and milkshakes. They do this when the science shows that burgers and milkshakes are a fundamental part of the cause of those cancers.
We do not have things that make sense in our healthcare system, and only by us coming together and doing good business can we affect change in these kinds of issues.