“The Game is Being Sold, Not Told”

In the United States, physician-patient healthcare has taken a backseat to capitalism.

On Tuesday in The Blue Cross Blue Shield Auditorium, Jasmine Bowers, M.D. gave an informative lecture on the evolution of healthcare entitled The Health Care Game Change: What We Need To Know And How We Need To Play It.

“The fundamental practice of medicine has changed. In the past, physicians dominated and directed health care,” Bowers, who is a practicing physician in California, said.

Health care administrators and healthcare plans are now driving health care. Health care plans currently regulate the physician-patient interaction. Also, health care can determine how often a patient can see the doctor, as well as, how many issues may be addressed during the visit.

Bowers warned, “To recognize that not each plan is the same. Not each plan costs the same, and not each plan provides the same level of care.”

Patients are now called health care consumers and physicians are labeled health care providers. The change in language describing physicians and patients suggests the monetizing of the healthcare system.

The Dean of the College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Michael Thompson, said, “What has happened during the years is that health care has become a business, everybody’s regulating. That’s the biggest thing, sometimes you have regulation without respect to what people really need.”

Florida A&M University’s President, Elmira Mangum, is responsible for bringing Bowers to Tallahassee to participate in the Inaugural Presidential Lecture Series.  Mangum who introduced Bowers as a speaker said, “ The purpose for the lecture series is to have and to stimulate intellectual conversation between students, the community and professionals in order to expose them to new ideas. “

Bowers suggested that academics, advocacy and action are the “Three A’s” needed to make a change in healthcare. She stressed the importance of voting to change public policy.

Healthcare is a serious issue, however, Bowers managed to lighten the mood by ending her lecture with a dance to Pharrell’s song “Happy".