Corporate, for-profit, healthcare is a Dog Eat Dog Business
Have you heard the term, panchreston? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a panchreston as: “ a broadly inclusive and often oversimplified thesis…intended to cover all possible variations within an area of concern.”
In other words, too good to be true.
As US healthcare dives further into poorer clinical care, inaccessibility, higher costs, and inequities, a new “solution” has dawned: AI (Artificial Intelligence). It ‘promises’ better, more efficient, and less costly healthcare. Again, too good to be true for many reasons, one especially troubling:
Healthcare AI programs will be designed and/or bought by MBAs and corporate CEOs, not by MDs and other health professionals. Think about EMRs, designed to make more money, at the expense of direct patient care. The pursuit of profit, in corporatized, for-profit healthcare will determine AI’s potential effect on you, your family, and mine. Because US healthcare is now dominated by for-profit insurance and managed care companies, their shareholders, and equity investors - the “Pipers” who call the tune that AI will play. Not unlike the computer programs in casinos, where the ‘house’ always wins.
There is no restraining the adoption of AI in healthcare. But there is a way of determining its purpose: require that doctors and other health professionals design and approve what AI program is used for their clinical practice, their hospitals and clinics, and by insurers (including Medicare and Medicaid). Patients must come first, not profits.
How can that possibly happen, short of a miracle? In 3 ways within our grasp. Ask me how.
Lloyd Sederer MD