Denton County Living Well Magazine Spring 2015 - Page 10

stressed about administrative hassles, but is now constrained by hospital policy and bureaucracy. Many doctors are forced to see substantially more patients per day, decreasing the time spent in each exam. This model inherently works against fostering a solid doctor-patient relationship. “From the moment I walked into OrthoTexas, I was treated like someone who was shopping at a family owned business; I felt like I was in control,” says Joe. “When Dr. Goodhart came into the exam room, he wasn’t rushed. He spent time with me and allowed me to tell him about my concerns and ultimately my goals for the appointment.” And how does hospital shift scheduling affect the patient? It’s manifested as a drastic decrease in the consistency of care. Patients are forced to either see the doctor on call, or wait weeks, even months, to see their chosen provider. In Joe’s case, he was scheduled for surgery the day after his initial consultation at OrthoTexas. “I couldn’t believe it. I was able to meet Dr. Goodhart, get an in house x-ray, and go in for surgery with my same doctor, in a matter of two days. That’s incredible service,” says Joe. This applies to specialized referrals as well. Many independent practitioners will only refer their patients to independent specialists, because the referral process within hospitals is convoluted and their patients experience lengthy wait times. Call out type goes here In a June 2012 the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Synthesis Project published a summarization of threedozen studies siting the effects of hospital mergers and hospital acquisition of physician practices on prices, costs, and quality of care. The report was written by Martin Gaynor, PhD, of Carnegie Mellon University, and Robert Town, PhD, of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In his findings he established that hospital consolidation generally resulted in higher prices across geographic markets. When hospitals merge in already concentrated markets, the price increase can often exceed 20 percent. Overall, he concluded that physician-hospital consolidation has not led to either improved quality or reduced costs. Physician-hospital consolidation has not led to either improved quality or reduced costs Each time a patient chooses an independent physician over a consolidated hospital group, we take one step towards moving healthcare into a patient-centered system. “I would really like to see people shy away from the hospital groups and s \ܝ