The Scott & White Healthcare System based in Temple, Texas is holding the line on healthcare costs through collaboration and cooperation. This amazing program has different incentives than the “fee for service” type of compensation.
Some of the things they are doing worthy of study are:
1. Scott & White Doctors are employed by the hospital and do not feel pressure to use multi-million dollar machines because they don’t own any.
2. Doctors are on salary but are paid bonuses linked to patients being “happy and healthy” and not on how many office visits and procedures the patients generate.
3. Hospital interiors are “more Hampton Inn than Hilton.”
4. Frontline doctors at their 31 primary care outpatient clinics work closely with specialists at the main campus —sharing test results and scans in computer assisted huddles. This sometimes saves an unnecessary appointment with the specialist.
5. State of the art electronic records are shared throughout the system-something a physician in private practice couldn’t run.
6. The administrator must be a doctor and the 800+ doctor system uses a strong peer review system to stop overuse and improve fiscal discipline.
7. Self-improvement is encouraged with doctors getting 15 paid days off for educational activity and service to the group.
8. Patient surveys and outcomes records are used to evaluate performance.
While this system has some shortcomings, it is certainly doing a lot of things very well and patient outcomes paired with the cost savings in healthcare should be a model for all to study.