A licensed health care executive?

Read this. (h/t Kevin MD, last Friday)

Should executives on the business side of health care be required to license?

Dr. Roy M. Poses writes at Health Care Renewal:

Yet there are no requirements that leaders of health care organizations have any particular educational background, knowledge, commitment to health care values, or, for that matter, that they have not committed crimes.

Interesting thought, but I tend to the side of disagreement.  Executive administration licensure adds a hoop, a hoop that unnecessarily lowers the supply and raises the salaries of administrators.  A local hospital board should be up to the task of judging an administrator’s educational background, knowledge, and commitment to health care values.  A deep background check should be sufficient for deterring criminals.

If not, I’m sure there’s a consultant willing to do it.

Management is a “cancerous growth?”

Biting words about administrators from a National Health System physician in the U.K.:

He calls the administrators the Stasi – nicknamed after the former East Germany police – and the management system a “cancerous growth” which would only be improved by sacking nine out of 10 managers.

He said: ‘Unfortunately I honestly believe that the service I am allowed by the Stasi to provide to my patients is not as good as it was nearly 30 years ago when I came to this hospital.

Dr. John Riddington Young has written a book on his experience.  He continues:

He dismissed suggestions that the rising number of managers have made a positive difference, such as cutting waiting times.

[snip]

‘You could ask almost any working doctor and he would be of the same opinion, that administration is incompetent, top-heavy and unnecessary’, he said.

Anecdotes from foreign countries with universal health care are often used in our health care debate, both pro and con.  Regardless of your position, it’s worth listening to the dissenters.  Our (more so) market driven system probably produces the same feelings in some physicians in this country as well.  Eliminating administration isn’t the answer, but an argument can be made that we’re over-managed.