When you don’t think you have a problem because you’re better than “so and so,” you’ll never be open to positive growth.
This is true of human nature and the present structure of the medical establishment.
But with an exodus away from both U.S. coasts, 2022 could be the year of a new healthcare system. My purpose by the end of this writing is to instill hope for this event.
I invite you to join me with an open mind, as I use international examples to rethink medicine.
And maybe just resuscitate an industry on life support.
Here we go.
Primed for Change
Recently, I touched on major problems in the U.S. healthcare system. But I’m a glass half full kind of guy and don’t want to purely focus on the negative.
Before looking at what constitutes “fertile ground,” I want to touch on the redistribution of Americans.
- From 2020-2021, the net increase of residents moving out of San Francisco was 649%
- The end of 2020 saw 267,000 people leaving California, far exceeding the number who moved here
- According to current U.S. census numbers, over 365,982 Californians have moved to Colorado alone
My wife and I personally bid goodbye to 4 such couples last year. They sought out more conservative (and affordable) locales.
Okay, why do I mention this beyond sentimental reasons?
Many of these folks are moving to states such as Texas, Idaho, and Colorado. If you’ve never visited, simply understand they have more people in rural areas than California.
Alternative health solutions are a decent option for these transplants, but how might they shift the healthcare system as a whole?
I’m of the opinion that deteriorating rural hospitals can be revived and provide a model to follow.
Allow me to explain with an example from India.
Why the Hub and Spoke Model Works
It’s probably necessary to dispel any preconceived notions right now. Just because we’re in America doesn’t mean the rest of the world is continually playing catch up.
CEOWORLD Magazine’s Health Care Index lists India as #19 and the U.S. #30 in “best healthcare systems”
Want to know a surprising statistic?
- In India medical procedures cost patients 95% less than the United States
As an example, radiation cancer treatment over there costs $2900 versus $22,000 here. Two researchers did their homework to discover how they accomplished this.
They focused on three specific strategies:
- Hub and spoke model
- Task shifting innovations
- Moving past cost-cutting to cost-effectiveness
Let’s flesh these out a bit more.
Hub and Spoke
Advanced medical equipment and specialized talent are centered in urban hubs. Distributed around these are “spokes” or rural gateways.
More complicated procedures are funneled to the hubs, while spoke locations handle more routine care. Aided by telemedicine, this process has been extremely successful in India and Africa.
There’s even a case study here in America I’ll touch on a bit later.
- Efficient use of medical equipment
- Increased physician productivity
- Large volume of patients served
Another reason this model works is because they’ve created new categories of medical workers.
High school graduates handle basic tasks at the spokes. Nurses are encouraged to become our equivalent of Nurse Practitioners. Primary care physicians are emboldened to become specialists.
The study even talks about self-service being incorporated. This looks like family members watching a 4 hour video on caring for loved ones post heart surgery!
And it works.
Finally, they favor the number of patients treated instead of the amount of procedures performed. Here in the States, fee-for-service payment models make this unappealing.
It’s been shown that a doctor is paid more for diagnosing a patient as Covid-positive versus the main reason they came in. Almost like they’re incentivizing padded numbers…hmm.
But I digress.
Ways they accomplish long-term savings:
- Doctors receive a fixed salary, instead of bonuses for what they order
- Less is spent on the look of a facility, and more on physician support staff
- Performance data is shared across hospitals, assisting best practices
Lobbyists from Big Pharma, medical malpractice lawsuits, and regulations are barriers to the U.S. adopting this. But only at the detriment of the consumer aka patients.
An Example Closer to Home
Here in the U.S. healthcare system, the hub and spoke model has already worked.
Since the early 1980’s, Willis-Knighton Health System of Louisiana has been using it effectively. Their decision was tied to the declining condition of the state’s rural hospitals.
As problem solvers, their example is worth following.
Since its inception, this vital lifeline has revived the rural healthcare facilities.
- Continuity of service to underserved populations
- Smooth integration of these locations into its network
They realized if neighboring medical hospitals suffered, eventually it would affect them as well. With the financial means to do something about it, they did.
Simple as that.
Now you know it’s possible, because it’s already being done!
Elijah Wordsmith Assisting a New Healthcare System
We are overdue for a new healthcare system in the United States. Currently available models can get us there because after all, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”
My wish is for this charge to reach receptive eyes and ears. Especially those who have the means to do something about it.
But guess what? We all have the ability to assist in this endeavor. Educate others, have open discussions, contact your local governmental officials.
Healthcare content writing is one way I do my part. But how can it help your alternative health business specifically?
Elijah Wordsmith content writing “verbalizes” the more natural and individualized care current and prospective patients receive from your practice.
Whether you’re in rural America or the city, showing up first in a local search is a worthwhile strategy to invest in.
Plus enjoy a boost in patient retention and new referrals for a “practice that truly cares.”
Take the first step towards standing out online and schedule a discovery call today!