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James McCormack

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Boost physician-patient trust to improve care and cut costs


Mark McConnell, M.D., and James McCormack, D. Pharm., write in a Lown Institute Web site blog entry that primary-care physicians can improve healthcare quality and cut costs by improving the trust that their patients have in them.

Among their suggestions on how to do this:

  • “Create incentives for primary-care clinicians to spend more time with patients rather than increasing the number of patients seen or the charges per patient. Payers (government and private sector) must accept responsibility for creating these incentives or forfeit identifying themselves as ‘healthcare’ insurers.”’
  • “Admit applicants to medical/professional schools who want to engage in shared informed decision-making, foster the interest they have, and remove educational activities that inhibit that interest.”
  • ”Create balanced and easy to use ‘shared decision aids’ for tests and treatments. We should have evidence-based decision aids for all common medical conditions.”
  • “Patients must be convinced their well-being is of greater importance than the financial well-being of payers or clinicians.”
  • Care and costs would improve if physicians trusted patients. To achieve that:
  • “Create lasting relationships between both parties that are not mere business transactions.”
  • “Find ways to remain in one practice for decades to build relationships with patients. This cannot happen if we resort to locum tenens and transient primary-care clinicians.”

To read their blog entry, please hit this link.

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