At DocSpot, our mission is to connect people with the right health care by helping them navigate publicly available information. We believe the first step of that mission is to help connect people with an appropriate medical provider, and we look forward to helping people navigate other aspects of their care as the opportunities arise. We are just at the start of that mission, so we hope you will come back often to see how things are developing.

An underlying philosophy of our work is that right care means different things to different people. We also recognize that doctors are multidimensional people. So, instead of trying to determine which doctors are "better" than others, we offer a variety of filter options that individuals can apply to more quickly discover providers that fit their needs.

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Challenges of high-deductible plans

High-deductible plans have been growing more and more popular as a way of combating rising premiums. In exchange for reducing a known expense (premiums), people who have high-deductible plans run the risk (but not certainty) of paying more if medical issues arise. Marketplace published an interesting article about one doctor choosing a high-deductible plan for his family. The doctor recounts the dilemma he faced after experiencing a racing heart. Should he go to the emergency room, where he should expect to pay $2,000 or more, or should he rest and risk a heart attack? Despite being a doctor himself, it was a difficult call to make. How much more difficult would it be for patients without clinical training?

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On the value of primary care

The New Yorker published another piece of Dr. Atul Gawande. In the piece, Dr. Gawande covers a number of related topics, and of particular interest to me was the importance of relationships in health care. Dr. Gawande lists some evidence showing that populations that have better access to primary care tend to have better health, and he then raises the question of why: what benefit does a primary care physician offer over direct consultations with specialists? By observing a primary clinic in action and talking with its staff, Dr. Gawande comes to the conclusion that the core advantage comes down to long-term relationships. While specialists theoretically should be able to more accurately diagnose and treat patients who have ailments in their own areas of expertise, primary care physicians have recurring contact with patients over long periods of time. Among other benefits, this exposure allows primary care physicians to make small adjustments tailored to the patient's progress and to follow up and investigate puzzling questions. After laying out this context, Dr. Gawande forecasts how health care can be different in the country, including why primary care physicians should be compensated more for their time.

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People want to pay less for health care

The Kaiser Family Foundation released results from a survey conducted last month. The survey found that respondents viewed lowering out-of-pocket health costs as the top priority, with more respondents (67%) considering it as a top priority than any other issue listed. Interestingly, survey respondents listed the issue as a top priority regardless of political affiliation (among those who identified as Republicans, slightly more respondents listed decreasing out-of-pocket health costs as a top priority than those who listed repealing the Affordable Care Act). People want to pay less for health care, although there is disagreement on how to go about doing so.

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Happy New Year

We wish you a happy new year!

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Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

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