THE COST of providing health care to many Americans remains a problem in the United States. Hundreds of millions are spent each year that, in the end, does little to alleviate the problems and ills folks are encountering. Meanwhile, doctors are inundated with more patients, meaning less time is spent diagnosing what’s wrong and more time spent on making sure every patient is just seen. The concept of “patient-centered” health care, however, has the potential to dramatically change the cost and quality of health care.
Declining reimbursement from health insurers means doctors are taking on more patients to cover costs. Moreover, doctors are paid on a “fee for service” basis, which means that rather than being paid a salary, the amount doctors are paid is based on the number of patients they see each day.