Demise of healthcare as we have known it…

Demise of healthcare 6Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire stressed that there is a deadly struggle underway in medicine today.  This is not overly dramatic language used to make a point or attack a process.  Medicine as we know it is dying, and the agony will be experienced by all the stakeholders:  providers, patients and insurance companies.  Increasingly, providers are being employed.  Independent medical practices are now dwarfed in number by those practices that are owned by a hospital or hospital system.  The same is happening to specialty practices, though at a somewhat slower rate.  Due to the stressors of running a practice (keeping up with Obamacare regulations, complying with myriad insurance treatment policies and guidelines, and challenges of simply making a profit, many specialists are lining up for acquisition by both horizontal and vertical systems.

Those specialists resisting this transition are encountering intimidation by Medicare in the form of RAC audits and OIG investigations and listing in all the media of the infamous Medicare Pay List.  For the patient, this reorganization of health systems means confusion, industrialization of service delivery and briefer, more superficial and unsatisfying office evaluations, punctuated by ‘scientific’ sterile treatment protocols and loss of the personalized touch.  For both patient and provider, the art of medicine is fading.

For insurance companies, their fate is clear.  While trying hard to participate in this ‘new medicine,’ and be a meaningful ‘partner’ in the future, the end is in sight.Demise of healthcare 5  As insurances merge and larger companies are created, it will be easier, in another decade or so, for the government to overcome the few monopolizing entities that will still exist, and finally a single payor, managed care, federally administered system will evolve.

The process will be heralded by economists for its efficiency, and no health care will be provided without a basis in scientific “proof” – proof that many times doesn’t exist – proof that is true today, and wrong next year.  The transformation of complex, unique patients into so many homogenized widgets will be complete.

Thank you Mr. Obama!

About Dr. Michael J. O'Connell, New Hampshire
Dr. Michael J. O'Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O'Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction. Since selling his family of healthcare businesses, he has never once contemplated retirement despite his rich and fulfilling journey, but instead has turned his focus to consulting in an industry starved for courage and creativity. Having weathered many political, technological and legal challenges, there is hardly a storm he has not confronted, a tempest he has not quelled, an urgent need he has not met. While the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts in the field have assumed the conventions and standards of the times, Dr. O'Connell does not believe in merely reflecting the herd mentality, but rather in leading the charge. Eschewing political correctness, Dr. O'Connell says and does what needs saying and doing, and not what the mindless masses expect. In addition to the continual education afforded by his variegated life experiences, Dr O'Connell earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of NH in 1975, his Medical Degree from Dartmouth College in 1981, interned at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1982, Residency/Fellowship at UCSF in1986, and finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration at UNH in 1995. Dr. O’Connell enjoys many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and golf. Through the decades Dr. O'Connell has supported many non-profit charities to include the St. Charles Home in Rochester NH, the Tri City VNA and Hospice, Hyder House, and Cocheco Valley Humane Society. To the latter organization alone Dr. O'Connell has donated over $180,000 and pledged another $250,000 in the “Bring-Us-Home” campaign for a new building. His “Matching Donations Christmas drive” has generated over $175,000 in charitable giving from the community. In addition Dr. O'Connell has participated in many dozens of other volunteer and donation efforts locally as well as in Africa and the Dominican Republic. For a listing of how I gave back to the community during my career and continue to do see:

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