I see population-based health care as a kind of stone soup. If you remember the original folktale, the villagers are cheated out of their greed and fear and made to share and enjoy life with their neighbors And all these thanks to a soup that did not even exist. until everyone who is unsuspecting of himself contributes his only ingredient; that alone would not matter much.
If each one of us is really interested in spreading his mission in which we all share the same outcomes goals of healthier and happier people, then we must be ready to work as a team. We must be ready to see not only how our own “ingredient” adds value, but also how each member of the team values the end result of restoring health and happiness.
We need to get past the “we against them” mentality that has plagued our health system. We can no longer afford to see the separation between the social determinants of health and the physical manifestations of the disease.
The lifestyle medicine movement is already verifying the need to include what many holistic practitioners have known for decades that people are not separated from their thoughts, feelings, beliefs and habits that have a direct impact on health outcomes. We are not so different and doctors are more open than ever to understanding all determinants of health.
There are several things we need to consider first before we take on such a role, and one of the biggest challenges I see from holistic and wellness practitioners is the willingness to speak and understand the same language as our clinical colleagues. It would be like moving to a foreign country without mastering the language.
This happens most often because in our passion and enthusiasm to bear witness to our mission, we tend to focus excessively on the techniques of our modalities and not on the intended health outcome. Can you imagine how a surgeon describes the details and methods of how to cut into our flesh with a scalpel?
Ugh, who wants to hear that, but another colleague? All I want to know is if and how I feel better! Not the details of the technique. Concentrate on the health result that offers your modality, which in turn is your mission!
The next one is that we have to position ourselves and our field of activity in such a way that it is oriented to the standards of care for a certain disease condition. For example, if you are a certified or licensed massage therapist and you have an additional certification in lymphoedema treatment, you would concentrate on chronic diseases that are known to cause lymphoedemas, such as cancer treatments or diabetes.
Of course, your field of activity must be oriented towards the chronic diseases for which you are certified. I will discuss in more detail how you can position your field of activity so that stronger relationships with clinicians are established in future postings. But right now, it’s important to know that if you don’t know how your field of activity meets the standards of care for a particular medical condition, the reason for your difficulties may be to get referrals or cooperation from doctors.
Finally, we need to get a clear understanding of the lay-of-the-land, not only within the clinical health care system but also of the new payment system that rewards doctors and hospitals for improving the quality of care. Pay-for-Performance is a term for initiatives to improve the quality, efficiency and overall value of healthcare.
These agreements provide financial incentives to hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers to implement such improvements and to achieve optimal outcomes for patients.
Pay-for-Performance has become popular with policymakers and private and public payers, including Medicare and Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act expands the use of pay-for-performance approaches, particularly in Medicare, and encourages experimentation to identify designs and programs that are most effective.
I see this as another way to broaden your mission by showing how you can help increase the quality of care, increase efficiency in care, close gaps in care, and create a more effective, more effective, and more effective healthcare environment.