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The ‘illusion of value-based medicine’

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Alexandra Tien, M.D., a family physician, writes in The Providence Journal¬†about “the illusion of value-based medicine”:

“In this new world, the catch phrase ‘value-based’ medical care is frequently mentioned, but it is hard to utter this phrase with a straight face when one considers that such value-based reimbursement models only apply to physicians.”

“We have capitalism in all its ugly excess when it comes to the rest of the medical industrial complex, i.e., big insurance, big pharma, health information technology, etc. All that this so-called value-based care really represents is a way to transfer health-care costs from insurers to physicians, who are already squeezed.”

“Neither should patients expect more value under these new models, since the value specified therein can only be demonstrated by additional busywork for the physician, further limiting time for patient care. Patients thinking that ‘value’ will be measured in more face time with doctors will be sadly mistaken. Indeed, given the extra administrative burdens, the opposite may well occur.”

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