Why Collect Data
With rapid changes in health care technology and delivery, health care providers have the capacity to improve the quality of medical care while improving public opinion regarding their providers. At the same time, Health Insurance Carriers believe that they can use financial impetus to control health care utilization and cost. Unfortunately, a "penny-wise and pound foolish" mentality has created an expensive, wasteful health care system, which has eroded patient-physician relations. The cost of medicine in this country has increased exponentially. This results from a system based on the premise that big government and big insurance carriers have the ability to make important medical decisions better than the physicians trained to provide patient care.
Physicians are in the unique position to prove what medical decisions are in the patient's best interest. This empowers the physicians and their patients to improve medical care. The best way to accomplish this is to utilize Validated Outcomes Data to show what is the best treatment for every patient's problem. Pay for Performance Measures may even help to create financial incentives to collect data and improve the quality of care.
The more physicians link together in collecting data, the more powerful will be the collective data of the whole. DATA IS POWER! With excellent data, we can speak authoritatively about what should be paid for, and what is most cost effective. Physicians alone are in the position to collect, process, and publish this data.
Perhaps this is the only hope for a medical system in the United States which has been eroded successively: especially since the introduction of Medicare, the RBRVS, and "Managed Care". Data collection efforts are also a means for us to collectively empower ourselves while we are in a disadvantaged position with regard to antitrust legislation. Patient Outcomes are not directly linked to reimbursement, however, arming ourselves with powerful information is potentially related to improving reimbursements as well as the quality of medical care.
Please help us to change the heart and soul of the medical profession!