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Our Mission

To increase the impact of patient's and physicians' voices in healthcare policy making

 

The future of our healthcare is being debated and decided by our policy makers with generous inputs from the middlemen (insurance companies, drug companies, hospital associations), who each have large financial stakes in how our healthcare is designed for the future. However, the two most important parties in healthcare- patients and the physicians find themselves sitting on the sidelines without a seat at the table. Someone once told me: "If you are not on the table, then you are on the menu". Quite a scary thought in these times!

In no other field is the marketplace so much controlled by the middlemen. When the middlemen in healthcare are this powerful, it is anybody's guess as to whose interests are actually being served by the healthcare marketplace? Definitely, not of the customers (patients) or even the providers (physicians). Those of us who have been 'lucky' to experience our healthcare system lately would surely concur. It has become progressively worse for patients and physicians in past couple of decades as the power of drug companies, insurance companies and hospital "systems" have reached stratospheric levels.

The hospitals, insurance companies and drug companies have well-organized and generously funded 'teams' lobbying for influence in shaping the future of our healthcare. On the other hand, patients and physicians are not organized and are therefore handicapped by their inability to speak in unison. In addition, physicians have literally been 'gagged' in the current healthcare system and are unable to voice their concerns and grievances. The insurance companies have a gag clause in their contracts with physicians and the hospitals are increasingly targeting physicians who voice their concerns in public by conducting "sham" peer-reviews and labelling them as 'disruptive physician'. As a result, patients and physician

 

Our Strategy

Create a democratically-governed and transparent, web-based communication platform focused singularly on healthcare issues and designed specifically to be able to collect high-quality data about patients' and physicians' preferences.

 

Discussions, often animated are common amongst physicians, non-physicians and 'experts' (policy makers, economists, administrators) about the real problems in healthcare and how to fix them. Unfortunately, all the chatter does not generate actionable data to influence policy makers. Currently, there is no single default communication platform dealing entirely with healthcare related issues. As a result, the impact of all the online conversations related to healthcare gets diluted. Furthermore, the existing and commonly used communication platforms are not designed to capture the essence of conversations in the form of high-quality actionable data. This platform is designed to overcome these limitations to provide a default platform where patients and physicians express their opinions and where the policy makers come to learn about patients and physicians' preferences.. This platform will focus entirely on healthcare issues and designed to be able to generate meaningful and actionable data from the patients and physicians.

A major impediment for physicians to voice their true opinions is their fear of victimization by insurance companies and hospital administrations. While registering, physicians are not asked to provide any information that would reveal their real-life identity. Physicians are assigned a screen-name which includes their specialty and a random five-digit number. The platform is so designed that even if it is hacked, still nobody can connect physician's screen-name with their real-life identity. Even if a physician inadvertently or willingly reveals his/her screen name with others (which we strongly dissuade), still there is no way for anyone (including our system administrator) to prove that the physician's account actually belongs to that physician (complete deniability) (Learn more details by clicking on "Your identity protection")

We have also put in place mechanisms to prevent abuse of this platform by vested interests or miscreant and will continuous monitor for that using advanced analytics. Only residents of US can participate in discussions, polling and post content so that the views and data collected on this site is pertinent to our policy makers. We will keep optimizing and improving out platform to be able to best fulfill this our mission.

 

Why use this Forum?

By having all or most of your 'online' discussions and debates about healthcare on this platform, you can help create a common resource that can potentially become the megaphone for the patients and physicians to influence policy-makers. This might help reverse the continuing loss of 'say' of patients and physicians in healthcare

  This forum has several features to not only to facilitate free and frank discussions and debate, but also simultaneously collect high-quality data that could have a major impact on policy making
  • We do not have a political agenda or political affiliation. We welcome expression of all views including from both sides of the political spectrum and encourage healthy debate and discussion.
  • This platform will be unmoderated and democratic with a leadership team comprising physicians and patient advocates.
  • It is designed to completely protect the real-life identity of registered physicians. This would enable physicians to frankly express their views on issues on healthcare
  • By protecting their real-life identity, this platform enables patients and physicians to have candid and constructive conversations about healthcare. Their combined voices from this platform will be difficult for the policy makers to ignore.
  • This platform will provide a common platform for physicians from different specialties whose professional societies usually can't come together even on issues of common interest.
  • We will ensure that the data collected on this platform is of very high-quality.
    • The system is monitored for abuse- such as creation of duplicate/multiple accounts, 'dummy' accounts etc.
    • Registered users can participate in the forum (vote, comment etc.) only when they access the system from IP addresses within the US.
    • We 'monitor for abuse' of this platform with advanced analytics and will promptly take remedial measures.
    • And more ...
 

About Us

This platform has been conceived and developed by a practicing physician who has experienced first-hand the changes in health care over past couple of decades especially their effects on quality of patient care and work environment in hospitals

 

All of us have experienced the impact of changes in healthcare over past several years which have dramatically altered how we practice medicine. After spending most of our adult lives learning and trying to excel in our chosen specialties, most of us now find practicing medicine unsatisfying, with increased administrative effort, more senseless regulation, increased practice-related expenses coupled with lower reimbursements for our services. Simultaneously, the value of human relationships has being undermined and the 'quality' of patient care compromised. The value of physician excellence is being completely discounted and so are the high-quality skilled and experienced physicians.

In my conversations with several extremely accomplished physicians who most of us regard as the 'stalwarts' of medicine and surgery, I have noticed the pain, disappointment and dejection that they are experiencing from this new reality in healthcare. It is completely beyond my comprehension how the policy-makers can claim to be improving the quality of healthcare with attractively named 'quality initiatives' when most high-quality physicians are being marginalized and several of them are retiring prematurely or considering retirement. I cannot think of a bigger loss of intellectual capital for our society.

It dawned upon me that there is no secure forum or a platform for the physicians to voice their opinions about how the recent changes or "reforms" are impacting healthcare and especially lowering the quality of patient care. Most physicians strive to deliver the highest quality care but are now finding it increasingly difficult to be able to do so. This Forum has been created with the sole purpose of enabling physicians and non-physicians to participate in frank and meaningful conversations about the challenges in our healthcare system.

 
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