Setting aside the problem of how to pay for it, what would you change about the health care experience?

Much of the debate over health care reform concerns finances – how to cover more people and how to pay the costs of their coverage. Setting aside the problem of how to pay for it, what would you change about the health care experience?

  • David

    I have been such a supporter of the single payer system-…several months ago I decided I could not be a hippocrite any more- …quit smoking entirely, for the first time in my life… exercise daily… and eat well- no fast food or soda pop. I’m healthier allready.

  • Steven

    I’d like my doctor to have time to actually listen to me, educate me about whatever I came in for, and discuss plusses and minuses of various treatment options, so I can make truly informed decisions.

    I’d also like to not have to fill out a ream of forms every time I go to a different clinic.

  • Tim Nelson

    Picture the next generation of health care, mostly on-line, and then do that.

  • Nick Bortell

    How to fix the health care experience? Universal single-payer system, eliminate the insurance companies from the picture, add incentives to wellness programs.

  • Drew

    I like the idea of paying doctors ONLY when treatment is successful and NOT pay-per-visit. I’m not aware of the stats for hospitals or clinics that are already doing this, but If money is a motivator, it seems to me that doctors will be more likely to focus on fewer quality visits with their patients as opposed to visiting as many patients as possible in a day. Quality vs. quantity.

  • Jane

    We need more doctors.

    Doctors work too many hours and their exhaustion leads to mistakes, or barely adequate patient care. Each doctor’s visit should be longer; often more than 5 min is needed to adequately determine what is wrong and how to treat the patient. Most doctors learn about new treatments/tests through drug company “ads/information”, and should instead have more time and access to research information.

  • Al

    I like small clinics. When I first moved to MN 10 years ago I went to a large clinic with a few dozen doctors for a headcold. My physician, according to my record, is the one who had appointment time that day. If I were to visit today he wouldn’t know he had ever seen me if it wasn’t on the chart.

    My daughters go to a pediatric clinic with 6 doctors. They have seen them all. All of the doctors and the clinic staff know us by name. They know our daughters’ histories without having to read every page of the chart and starting from scratch.

    I know I need to change my clinic, but finding a right-sized clinic in the era of cost savings by assembly line efficiency makes that a challenge.

  • Ken

    Get rid of private insurance companies. The only thing they add to health CARE is co$t.

  • Jennifer

    I strongly believe in a public option. What other good options do I have as a stay-at-home mom? My husband’s non-profit organization cannot afford to offer coverage for myself and our children so we must purchase 3 separate plans. Because I was on COBRA when I experienced post-partum depression and used anti-depressants, I could only get coverage with a VERY high deductible. I feel like I need to think twice every time I or the kids might feel the need to see the doctor (outside of regular well-child checkups anyway).

  • Kelly

    I would like to see mental health on par with medical health. As a therapist, I see many people who could benefit from therapy, but cannot afford it because their insurance does not cover it.

  • Janine Heffelfinger

    The healthcare experience is 50% waiting around, 40% forms and paperwork and 10% time with the doctor.

    Note that I did NOT say “quality time”.

  • Molly

    Every time I show up at a clinic, the receptionist asks whether my insurance is the same as last time, even if last time was mere days ago. It’s a constant reminder that my medical care is a privilege, not a right, and that I could lose it if I lose my job. I wish I could be rid of the anxiety about losing coverage.

  • Sue

    As a cancer survivor, I really love that the current health care reform proposal gets away from denying insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions. I don’t have cancer anymore, and I’m no more likely to get it again than the next person, but the only way I’ll ever get insurance coverage without reforming the system is through an employer’s group policy.

    Also, I know the pharmaceutical lobby is very strong, but the profits drug companies make on most products is insane. We ought to reform the patent laws to only give 17 years of patent protection for so-called orphan drugs – those without enough market potential for big pharma to bother with them. Do we really need yet another patented drug for erectile dysfunction or birth control?

  • kennedy

    The current health care system is set up to encourage spending. More perscriptions, procedures, and/or patient consultations means more income for the doctors, clinics, hospitals, and medical companies.

    You may think the group trying to keep costs down would be insurance companies. I don’t think so. They simply transfer money from the insured to the health care providers. Since they get a cut of the money flowing through, more health care spending means more money for the insurance companies.

    I’d like to have a system based more on patient health than on volume served.

  • Julia Accola

    Replicate the Mayo Clinic philosophy and compensate the providers for results. I live in Rochester and get all my medical care at Mayo. Mayo would be a good model for other institutions.

  • sharleen

    I have a chronic auto immune disease and have become very familiar with the health care system. When you rise to that level, you can begin to tailor your needs with the doctor’s blessing. One loses their anxiousness and becomes familiar with the docs you must see regularly, and that allows a lot more give and take with the doc. I would wish everyone to develop that type of rapport with a family doctor; it really facilitates the speed of the appt as well as allowing the patient to have a relaxed visit.

    From discussions with my docs, I’ve learned that they dislike the 10-minute regimen; they feel it hurts their ability to do a good job with the patient. They have also commented on the ‘idiocy’ of our system and feel quite frustrated that they are only a cog in the health machine instead of being the concerned, caring doctor they would like to be.

    One of the worst things is our prescription coverage, which doesn’t allow you to take the medicine the doctor prescribes. Instead you are placed on the nearest-like generic which never does as good a job as the real thing. That also handicaps the doctor who wishes you to have a more satisfactory outcome.

  • Dave K.

    I would vastly increase research funding and completely subsidize funding for anybody who wants to become a doctor. if you are smart enough, then you should be able to do it without worrying about coming up with money or taking indenturing loans.

    I would make sure there is much more of an incentive to research for cures, rather than chronic drugs that only just manage diseases.

    I would, like NHS in the UK, open up lots of corner clinics that people could go to without appointments.

    With more doctors out there, more research and development towards cures rather than management, there will be a much better chance that more people will be well, rather than become permanent customers once they have a disease.