America’s healthcare crisis has changed over the decades, with the current definition about the rising cost of health care.
Today, some politicians would have us believe that we have a healthcare crisis because of the Affordable Care Act; while others trumpet that the United States now has 11.4 million fewer medically uninsured compared with 2010, when the ACA was signed into law. Even others suggest that cyberattacks should be our newest concern with 40% of Americans having suffered a data breech of sensitive medical records.
But here in Redding CA we have a different healthcare issue. Local Redding hospital CEO’s assert that data shows our community is short between 15 and 20 family medicine/general internal medicine physicians. This shortage is made worse by the closure of several busy practices available to outpatient by general internists who have mostly moved into the “hospitalist” role. This has made a big impact on the medicare population. The shortage also extends to certain specialties like urology, neurology, GI, etc. making on-call coverage at the hospitals increasingly challenging. Phase-in of the ACA has also placed greater pressure on health service providers such as Shasta Community Health Center.
Some local physicians are retiring early or changing they mode of practice, fed up with all paperwork now required by government agencies and insurance companies. In order to remain financially viable, most medical practices are forced to schedule appointments with dozens of patients each day, so the time allotted to each individual patient visit is limited. And more clinics are using Nurse Practitioners for more routine visits. Another concern is that most medicine is being practiced to treat disease with medication or surgery after the condition has advanced rather than to focus on wellness and prevention of disease through lifestyle changes. It is a challenge for a patient to find competent internal medicine doctors who are motivated and can afford to give sufficient time to patients.
A few doctors are trying a new approach. Two such Redding doctors who have made a switch to concierge practice or direct pay care are Gurpreet Sandhoo, DO, PhD and Dr. Jill Friesen MD.
If you would like to find out about her Excellence in Healthcare practice you might want to attend a special informational event that Dr. Sandhoo is offering free of charge and open to the community on Saturday, September 19, 2015 from 8:30 AM – noon at a medical office building at 1760 Gold Street, Redding CA (across from LabCorp). Please RSVP to 530-243-1414. A continental breakfast will be provided.