If you travel to the south of France, you may find yourself drawn to the lovely scenery in the neighborhood of the Lot River. You may stroll through the streets of a quiet village and let the clean country air fill your lungs.
I just hope you don’t get sick and spend most of your vacation in bed, as happened to me. After nearly a week of self-medicating with Imodium, I sought out a physician. I was in luck. The village had only a few hundred residents, but there was a doctor. I went to see her (two hours after I called for an appointment), she examined me and prescribed medication, and I was able leave my room at Le Galerie, a charming B&B, without fear within 24 hours. Just like that. No forms to fill out, no waiting. And the visit cost me just 23 Euros (about $30).
The medication, it turns out, is unavailable in the United States.
Every month we present articles to help clinical and C-suite executives do their jobs better, but we also pull back and look at the bigger picture, about remedies for the system. Our cover story concerning the obstacles to value-based insurance design is one such macro-look.
This is not to say that we should adopt a single-payer system, such as they have in France. It’s merely to point out that when I was down and out in a foreign country, it was nice not having to fill out any damn papers, to have quick access to a physician, and to have a wonder medication that did the job. With our system in such a mess, we could learn a thing or two from others that have high public confidence.