Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the 14th annual California Health Care Leadership Academy in Indian Wells, CA. The overarching theme of the conference was to understand how best to deal with the opportunities and challenges presented in a new era of health reform. There were many great discussions and panel presentations, and the spectrum of physician perspectives was fascinating to witness. Below are some quotables from the weekend that really hit home as far as where the Body of Medicine is at present, and where it needs to be in the future.
"Modern medicine is a team sport. The task for us is not to hold the tide back but renegotiate our social contract. The current trend is health care costs unsustainable...and anything unsustainable will not be sustained. The question is do we want to have those changes imposed on us or do we want to embrace our own futures. We must be good stewards of the limited health care resources we have."
-Mark D. Smith, MD, MBA, President and CEO, California HealthCare Foundation
"Inland Empire is the perfect microcosm of the challenges we face: lots of solo docs, a large uninsured population, and low provider ratios. To be successful, where you are practicing has to change: FQHCs, big groups, and ACOs are the future."
-Bradley Gilbert, MD, MPP, CEO, Inland Empire Health Plan
"Physicians need to be more involved in the management and governance of the health system."
G. Aubrey Serfling, President and CEO, Eisenhower Medical Center
"Who would have thought that me, once a young mexican girl living in labor camps, would today be able to sit down with elected officials and be an advocate for my community. I encourage all of you to step out of your comfort zone, and be a voice for your patients."
Katherine Flores, MD, Director, UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research
"Hospitals grew up as extensions of physician practice. Today we have two hierarchies of clinicians and administrators, with very different goals and visions. We are going to have to move past the relationship between doctors and hospitals of the last 30 years, finding common ground as full partners to invest in social capital. The same holds true for medicine and public health."
Sharon L. Levine, MD, Associate Executive Director, The Permanente Medical Group
"It is necessary, as part of professionalism, to increase the value of services we offer in order to reduce costs and avoid the risk of draconian and harmful cuts and restrictions. Medicine today is a fiefdom. We are so fragmented and the need to create a unified profession is great. Bigger things are happening around us, and only we will be able to save ourselves."
Jack C. Lewin, MD, CEO, American College of Cardiology