Innovations,  Uncategorized

The John Mayer Approach to Health Care Reform

I heard this song by John Mayer today: Waiting on the World to Change. Take a minute to watch the video. It’s just the words because John kind of mumbles and the words are the point here 🙂 .

Health care professionals are waiting for the world to change. We know reform is coming. We know the way we work with patients and clients will be vastly different in 5 years than it is now.

But, we just sit and wait for the change.

We accept that change has to come from the top down.

We wait for someone else to tell us what to do, how we’ll get paid.

And then when they tell us, we don’t like what we hear.
“We see everything that’s wrong with the world and those who lead it;
We just feel like we don’t have the means to rise above and beat it.
So we keep waiting for the world to change.”

We complain and get anxious, frustrated, scared.

We wonder how we’ll pay the bills, continue to live our current lifestyle.

And then we feel helpless.

What if we don’t wait

When winter is on it’s way we know change is coming. The leaves fall off the trees, the air is colder, frost is on the cars in the morning, birds start to migrate. We prepare. Take coats and sweaters out of storage, find the shovels, gloves and hats. We make sure our heaters and fire places work well. The change from fall to winter doesn’t surprise us. We don’t wait until it’s 20 degrees out to dig out our scarf. We know winter will come and so we prepare.

This is the same thing as health care reform. We know it’s coming. Sure, it may be delayed, but at some point soon the current center won’t hold. How expensive can co-pays become? How high the deductibles? How many hours can a primary care physician work before she just throws in the towel and walks away? How low can mental health reimbursement go before it’s impossible to find a qualified professional who accepts insurance?

Don’t wait. Change. Now.

Here’s a secret. You don’t have to do it “that way” any more. The rules are changing. Why can’t we change them from the ground up? You’re sick of taking crap insurance, don’t take it. You want to see clients for 30 minutes – go for it. You want to see patients in groups – why not?
“It’s hard to beat the system, when we’re standing at a distance, so we keep waiting…”

When people consider these wild and crazy ideas of doing thing differently, they start to “explain away” why they can’t make change. Here is what some of you reading this are thinking right now.

“My patients HAVE to use their insurance.”

“Insurance won’t pay for longer (or shorter) sessions.”

“I don’t get paid to do social media.”

“No one will show up for new-fangled ways of doing health care.”

I am not a psychoanalyst by any means (if you know me well, you can stop laughing now), but those excuses are just resistance.

Remember- change is coming, whether you drive it or not.
“Cause when they own the information, they can bend it all they want, so we keep waiting…”

All that stuff you say can’t be done? Someone is going to figure out how to do it. They’ll get paid well to do the things they enjoy. They’ll attract the clients who value their work.

Sure, they may need to learn new ways of doing business, but they will figure it out.

But waiting for the change to be handed down from on high GUARANTEES that you’ll need to learn new ways to do business and have no control over what that looks like. Waiting absolves us from responsibility for the outcome. For some of us that is comforting. We can just feel like a victim, resentful of those in power and our patients for not valuing us.
“It’s not that we don’t care, we just know that the fight ain’t fair, so we keep waiting…”

But what takes more effort and energy – figuring out a new business model on your own terms or dealing with a new business model and feeling angry all the time?

The new rules

The new era of health care will have new rules for people who want to do good work and make a good living:

  1. Be ethical
  2. Do good, effective interventions
  3. Customize your business models

Here’s another secret no one is telling you: You OWN your skills and education. You OWN your business. You can do whatever you want with your skills and your business as long as you are ethical and effective. Cool, huh?

The alternative is waiting for the world to change.

How are you going to own the changes that are here?

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