Local doctors say now is the time to make big changes

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - A bipartisan group of senators are working on keeping the cost of the health care legislation at their $1 trillion target. Some East Texas doctors say now is the time to start making some big changes.

President Obama's health plan is taking center stage, and not just in Washington.

"We are pioneers, we are leaders in technology, we are clinical innovators and we've got a lot of the good parts and pieces," said Dr. David Teegarden, president and chief medical officer of Trinity Mother Frances Health Systems. "We just have to fix the rest."

He does not endorse the president's plan, but applauds the planning.

"It's a sickness based system rather than a wellness based system," said Teegarden. "That primary care redesign is critical to this healthcare reform, and how that will play out, we do not yet know."

Meanwhile, he says, tens of millions of Americans have no health insurance at all.

"Healthcare right now has a lot of waste in it," said Teegarden. "So, we must become very efficient with the resources we have. There will not be any more money put into the system."

Dr. Barbara Allen was once with the Mayo Health System. Dr. Allen is now chief of primary care for Trinity Clinics.

"Evidence based medicine is just doing the right thing at the right time...the first time," said Allen.

The president complimented the Mayo system during last night's town hall meeting. But...

"We don't want this to be a Democratic or Republican healthcare reform," said Allen. "We want it to be the right thing for the patients."

She says it's something her hospital and many others are moving in that direction.

"Prevention, primary care, incorporation of fitness and activity and healthcare," she said. "[We are] working to improve the efficiency of healthcare."

"If we keep the patients' needs at the center of what we're trying to get better, then we'll all make good decisions, both politicians and clinicians alike," said Teegarden. "We'll do it right if we don't lose sight of that."

The Obama Administration is, of course, hoping to work out as many kinks as possible pretty fast. The president wants a health care reform bill passed by the end of the year.

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