In today’s atmosphere of healthcare reform, many Americans feel they’ve lost control. They often feel they don’t have a voice in the medical process, nor as many options. The Plastic Surgery Channel spoke with frustrated patients and everyday Americans about their thoughts on healthcare today…
“It’s not about health anymore.”
“I want the right to choose my doctor. I don’t want to have to go to who you’ve provided for me. They may not give me the care that I want.”
“Everything I want to do, isn’t covered by insurance.
“I think the freedom has been taken away from my doctor to do what he thinks is best.”
Americans are discovering their preferred choices aren’t always covered by insurance. “They wait, they’re told what they can and cannot have; they aren’t told what things cost. They can’t make value based decisions, and often times they can’t pick the provider they want. At the end of the day, they suffer for it,” says Dr. Guy Kezirian.
A New Kind of Healthcare
Dr Kezirian, an Opthalmologist from Scottsdale, Arizona, is a supporter of a new kind of healthcare called Lifestyle Healthcare. It means patients pay cash for the procedures they want without interference of government and insurance in the arena of beauty, performance and wellness. These are generally the type of procedures that fall under medical categories such as ophthalmology, dermatology, cosmetic dentistry and plastic surgery.
Most patients trust that the options given to them by their insurance company is what’s best, but that’s not always the case. An example of this, says Stacey Teramae, is what she’s run into with her parents failing eyesight. She’s researched her parents options and would like her parents to have a specific procedure for their eyesight. The problem is, it isn’t covered by their insurance, and therefore was never even offered as a choice to her parents.
“I think we’ve been brought to the point where we’ve been told we don’t have choices and I think people need to be taught again that they have a choice,” says Stacey.
Benefits in Self-Pay Medicine
“Healthcare has been gradually bureaucratized over the last 30 years,” says Dr. Kezirian. “It’s been taken over by big pharma, government, and insurance companies.”
“Because of constraints in our society today and compliance regulations, often times corporations are hand-cuffed in trying to help doctors deliver the best care,” says Dr. Lou Bucky. Dr. Bucky is a board certified plastic surgeon from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Like Kezirian, Dr. Bucky believes in the benefits that are available in self-pay medicine. He’s part of a group called Alphaeon that specializes in promoting lifestyle healthcare.
“Alphaeon has practice management aspects that allow us to communicate better with patients, to give patients the appropriate feedback, to try and find the right procedure or product for that patient. They are really practice development aspects and they go hand in hand,” says Bucky.
Is Lifestyle Healthcare the Future?
Many supporters of Lifestyle Healthcare see the future of cash pay medicine applying to things like primary care, preventative care, and even major operations. If physicians know what patients want and can deliver without government or insurance interference, lifestyle healthcare may be on to something that will change the way healthcare is moving into future.