Podcast: The System Wants to Get Money, We Want to Give Care

Denise

Podcast: The System Wants to Get Money, We Want to Give Care

Denise
I hosted a podcast this afternoon with a physician during which we spoke about the fragmentation of the health care system. (You can listen to my conversation with Dr. Stephanie Wissig,  Clinical Product Lead at AssuredAllies, via the player below.)

I asked Stephanie how we can work better within a system that operates as pieces rather than as a whole. She offered the perspective that physicians may be open to connecting with family caregivers via email even though they may not be reimbursed for the time spent replying to emails.

I'm just curious: How many of you are reimbursed for the time you spend composing email messages and then re-sending those messages over and over until someone (anyone!) actually answers?

I can't imagine any family caregiver at any time actually saying, "Well, the insurance company won't reimburse me for this particular task but I guess I'll still do it anyway."

I'm not sure how this gets missed over and over but here's the bulls-eye: We don't get paid. We don't get reimbursed from any provider, payor or program. For many family caregivers, their current income and future retirement take a huge hit because of caregiving responsibilities.

What if the "what's in it for me" mentality became the "let's find the win-win for all"?

The system seems so focused on what it gets without actually valuing what we give. If the system did value our time, energy and knowledge base, then we would get immediate responses to our emails, then the doctor would immediately call us back and then the hospital would make sure we got simple supports like free meals and parking during our caree's hospitalization. When we're valued, we have time because needless waits are eliminated, we are empowered because senseless policies don't exist and we gain opportunities because our role is treasured.

We are, after all, the health care system. There's at least 66 million of us. We're an invaluable gift to the health care system. I wish the system would treat us as such.

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