Chronic disease care in America has been broken for years; covid-19 has shown us why.

Chronic disease care in America has been broken for years; covid-19 has shown us why.

Anyone who has ever been diagnosed with a chronic disease knows that after specialist visits offer little value other than finding the next drug, there are few answers.

Looking for the next treatment is a huge part of the problem because many diseases are merely collections of symptoms attached to a researcher’s name.  Once something has been labeled a disease, it is often associated with a drug treatment that is rarely curative, but is often costly and laden with side effects.

Many diseases such as fibromyalgia were merely categories of patients who defied the management of physicians.  To make things easier for them, they created a category so the doctors can prescribe a drug.  Unfortunately, in the case of fibromyalgia, often involved body mechanics and poor movement patterns resulting in pain, loss of sleep, and overall pain.   The patient often finds themselves looking for alternatives to the medical approach and find better relief through methods such as exercise, massage, chiropractic among other drug-free methods.

Many other diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s’, and even lupus may have causes that medical providers are untrained to evaluate, but those patients rarely find relief until they visit nutritionists or functional medical providers.

Part of the fault is the segmentation of care that is so common now.  Primary care is a brief visit and you go from doctor to doctor and test to test looking for the answer that often is a lifetime drug prescription, rather than a cure.   Is it any wonder why US healthcare costs continue to skyrocket compared to the rest of the world while our health does not improve?

Covid-19 showed us that the road to healthcare in the US is expensive, complicated, and in some cases, dangerous. While other countries have also found out their healthcare shortcomings, the US found hospitals losing money when they could not perform elective procedures, rather than offering comprehensive healthcare.

The New England Journal of Medicine shared a thoughtful essay on what is wrong.  Chiropractors are often underutilized and can often help improve or prevent many chronic musculoskeletal-based problems from being called diseases.  We as a society need to take healthcare back from the big corporate systems and make it about the patient, rather than the systems.  Check the article out below.

Uncomfortable Truths — What Covid-19 Has Revealed about Chronic-Disease Care in America

Marshall H. Chin, M.D., M.P.H.

Jump off the cliff and figure it out on the way down. People think that improvisation is moving forward,” comedian Keegan-Michael Key has said about improvisational comedy. “What improvisation really is, it’s walking backward.… It’s backing up that gives you discovery.… You back up, you can create a larger worldview.”

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the medical field to jump off the cliff and figure it out. It caused rare disruptive innovation by removing previously impenetrable organizational and political roadblocks. Covid-19 also made us walk backward and see the larger worldview, in the process revealing uncomfortable truths about the U.S. health care system — including our approach to managing chronic diseases. Policy discussions surrounding telehealth coverage and scope of practice for nonphysician health professionals have narrowly focused on fee-for-service reimbursement and haven’t addressed the fundamental problem with chronic-disease care: the system doesn’t support optimal patient health and experience, especially for marginalized populations.

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