Is quality still an option in healthcare? – The Medical Consultant

Is quality still an option in healthcare?

It is often said that you cannot have something fast, cheap, and good at the same time and that you must choose the two that matter most to you. So why would we think that healthcare would be any different.  We have a healthcare system which is completely broken because quality always seems to lose in this scenario.  Unfortunately, there has been an affect in healthcare across the country which has led to commoditization of radiology and the care that patients receive.

The expected standard which hospital administrators and ER doctors are now looking for is a 30-minute turnaround on radiology reports. However, images are not sent one at a time with the radiologist having the time to analyze the images and review the patient’s history.  Instead, exams are sent in batches of 10-20 imaging exams at a time leaving the radiologist just a few minutes to review the images and history.

As well over the last 10 years while other areas of healthcare see rising reimbursements, there has been a 15% decline for radiology. We far too often get the bill for thousands of dollars for an imaging exam which was performed.  However, the radiologist that interprets your foot x ray or chest x ray gets between $4-$7 to read it.  The remainder of the thousands of dollars goes to the entity that owns the equipment. This has led to radiologists having to read faster and faster.

Therefore, the system has chosen which two factors are most important for you as a patient. They have dictated that radiology interpretations should be done quickly and should be performed cheaply.  So unfortunately, that means that the quality will suffer.  It is not possible to read the large amount of radiology exams quickly, for a discounted price, and at the same time for the radiologist to provide you with a detailed report because if they did, they would fall on their face on the healthcare treadmill.  It is no wonder that radiologists are missing more diagnosis than ever, and their reports often lack substance.  This is where The Medical Consultant stands alone as they start with quality interpretations, they charge a reasonable price for the time they spend interpreting the images, and since there is no artificial timeclock, time is not an issue.  The Medical Consultant can provide you with the quality you deserve and most importantly, the right diagnosis.

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