We hear a lot about “healthcare collaboration” these days. “Align with the hospital and make healthcare better and more affordable and better and more available and better, too!”
If you’re a frequent reader (see, for example, If Technology (and HIPAA) Drive Independent Healthcare Practice Why The Need For Physician Alignment, or The Problem of Perception – Healthcare Collaboration), you know that I see healthcare collaboration for what it really is: a grab by hospitals for power and control.
“Healthcare collaboration,” as the term is used by its hospital-centric healthcare proponents, is a trope: a figurative or metaphorical expression meant to transmit a condensed message. The message they hope to get across is one of healthcare kumbaya in which doctors and nurses and pharmacists and respiratory technicians and all these other people who are giving wonderful caring help to so many sick people, work very closely with the hospital to deliver that care and never fight over the money. Gee!
That’s a load of crap.
What the term really means is let the hospital hold all the money, let the hospital decide who gets to render the care, and let the hospital decide what those providers should be paid.
The choice of the term “healthcare collaboration” is ironic, in that the word “collaborator” has two meanings. The scheme’s perpetrators see “collaborator” in the context of someone who works jointly on a project.
But recall that “collaborator” also means a traitor, someone who conspires with the enemy, as in “the healthcare collaborator was shot at dawn.”
Now before someone dashes off a nasty comment, I’m not suggesting that anyone actually be shot; I’m simply demonstrating the power of the trope as I urge you to use it: “Don’t listen to Joe, he’s just a healthcare collaborator.”