Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business?

Use this forum to discuss the June 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power by Barbara Galutia Regis PA-C
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Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business?

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This topic is related to the philosophical book for the month of June Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power by Barbara Galutia Regis PA-C

https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelv ... ?id=419391


The author has mentioned 'business of healthcare' in several occasions of her book. What do you feel about today's healthcare system? Is it more like a service or a business?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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For those who treat patients, healthcare is mostly a service. For those in administration, in government or in the insurance industry, healthcare is mostly a business.
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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AverageBozo wrote: June 1st, 2021, 3:44 pm For those who treat patients, healthcare is mostly a service. For those in administration, in government or in the insurance industry, healthcare is mostly a business.
The ones in the insurance industry, there is no argument that health is a business. But what about the administration section related to the government? How can they make it a business? I think they are under immense pressure because they somehow has to manage healthcare services with whatever the funds that they are allocated with, while maintaining good relationships with the public, which is quite a difficult task as it is hard to always please the public.
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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Sushan wrote: June 1st, 2021, 1:07 pm This topic is related to the philosophical book for the month of June Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power by Barbara Galutia Regis PA-C

https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelv ... ?id=419391


The author has mentioned 'business of healthcare' in several occasions of her book. What do you feel about today's healthcare system? Is it more like a service or a business?
A 'service' and a 'business' aren't mutually exclusive categories, and in fact I think healthcare (assuming we're talking about in the U.S. here) is best described as a 'service industry'. So yes, for the most part it is a business, and its product is a type of service. Although the government has a prominent role in regulating it and in determining how and what services it will allow taxpayer funds to go toward, the government really doesn't operate healthcare business or provide healthcare services (the notable exceptions being the Veterans Administration, the Indian Health Services which directly employ healthcare providers). Outside of this, healthcare in the U.S. is large provided by private businesses. The government and the insurance companies are the primary purchasers of these services, although they do this for the benefit of, and in collaboration with, individual patients who are the end consumers.
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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Thomyum2 wrote: June 2nd, 2021, 12:34 pm
Sushan wrote: June 1st, 2021, 1:07 pm This topic is related to the philosophical book for the month of June Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power by Barbara Galutia Regis PA-C

https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelv ... ?id=419391


The author has mentioned 'business of healthcare' in several occasions of her book. What do you feel about today's healthcare system? Is it more like a service or a business?
A 'service' and a 'business' aren't mutually exclusive categories, and in fact I think healthcare (assuming we're talking about in the U.S. here) is best described as a 'service industry'. So yes, for the most part it is a business, and its product is a type of service. Although the government has a prominent role in regulating it and in determining how and what services it will allow taxpayer funds to go toward, the government really doesn't operate healthcare business or provide healthcare services (the notable exceptions being the Veterans Administration, the Indian Health Services which directly employ healthcare providers). Outside of this, healthcare in the U.S. is large provided by private businesses. The government and the insurance companies are the primary purchasers of these services, although they do this for the benefit of, and in collaboration with, individual patients who are the end consumers.
Ultimately the production is a service, a service to the patients. I agree. But I would like to name something as a service when it is done out of no interest in gaining profit but helping people. I think the early stage of medicine was like that when the traditional healers helped the sick ones with no expectations regarding any returns. But today it has become a business in most aspects, and if you do not have money a good service will be far away.
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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Sushan wrote: June 2nd, 2021, 12:46 pm Ultimately the production is a service, a service to the patients. I agree. But I would like to name something as a service when it is done out of no interest in gaining profit but helping people. I think the early stage of medicine was like that when the traditional healers helped the sick ones with no expectations regarding any returns. But today it has become a business in most aspects, and if you do not have money a good service will be far away.
That would be nice of course, but it's not the world must of us live in these days. And in any case, modern medicine is a very different thing from traditional healing - that was a time when something like appendicitis was most likely going to be fatal, and which today can be remedied without even needing to spend a the night in the hospital. But those benefits come with costs, as Thoreau famously said, "you never gain something but that you lose something."
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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Thomyum2 wrote: June 2nd, 2021, 1:15 pm
Sushan wrote: June 2nd, 2021, 12:46 pm Ultimately the production is a service, a service to the patients. I agree. But I would like to name something as a service when it is done out of no interest in gaining profit but helping people. I think the early stage of medicine was like that when the traditional healers helped the sick ones with no expectations regarding any returns. But today it has become a business in most aspects, and if you do not have money a good service will be far away.
That would be nice of course, but it's not the world must of us live in these days. And in any case, modern medicine is a very different thing from traditional healing - that was a time when something like appendicitis was most likely going to be fatal, and which today can be remedied without even needing to spend a the night in the hospital. But those benefits come with costs, as Thoreau famously said, "you never gain something but that you lose something."
I think good health is always a gain. You may loose time and money to get that, but money can be earned and time can be efficiently utilized, if you live a healthy life. It is true that modern day medicine is complex and advanced compared to traditional medicine, but its primary course of saving lives is still remain intact. So why it cannot remain as a noble service as it used to be, without being converted into a full grown business?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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Healthcare has changed immensely over the past few generations house calls from a local family doctor are a thing of the past, and the deeply personal relationships and bonds between provider and patient are eroding with the demands of for-profit insurance
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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There are a few other concepts in tension which could be usefully considered here:

1) People as citizens v people as consumers;

2) Governments as service providers v governments as regulators;

3) Taxation as a necessity v taxation as theft.


1) When the primary function of people within a nation is to be consumers of products, many inevitable, undesirable outcomes ensue. It is inevitable that business, motivated by the need to return profits, will not be interested in providing services to those who cannot pay. It is equally inevitable and undesirable that poor people will suffer and die in pain in this model of health care.

2) Governments used to DO things, however around the globe this is increasingly not the case. Government as provider, to citizens who need things, are ideas replaced (thanks to Reagan, Thatcher, their enablers, and their followers) by government as a bloated, corrupt, and inefficient entity in need of replacement by efficient businesses operating according to pure market forces; people as free agents able to get what they need and want in the pure marketplace.

(We never hear from people who actually work in the giant, evil, thieving government - I wonder why? Perhaps for the same reason that we never hear a rational view of bureaucracy - it is invariably a pejorative term. But those fellow citizens who do work for your government, probably trying their best to regulate the demonstrably corrupt corporate world, are not bad or evil people, and without bureaucracy we would be living in a Hobbesian world, trying to sleep at night with one eye open.)

3) Good health care could be provided to all citizens if sufficient tax were paid. A few cents from every tax dollar would ensure universal health care. Would that really be too high a price?
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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Sina123 wrote: June 2nd, 2021, 2:57 pm Healthcare has changed immensely over the past few generations house calls from a local family doctor are a thing of the past, and the deeply personal relationships and bonds between provider and patient are eroding with the demands of for-profit insurance
I think there are few family practitioners who still do house calls and look after families. But with the rapidly changing world and its people, how can a single system remain unchanged. So healthcare system also has adopted to the money minded, information and technology based current world practices. Doctors no more try to do house call but they see patients online. It is more convenient to the doctor as he does not has to travel, and also convenient to the family of the patient as they do not have to make their house ready to accept a doctor. Everything is becoming simple today, but the relationships are becoming scarce.
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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Robert66 wrote: June 2nd, 2021, 4:46 pm There are a few other concepts in tension which could be usefully considered here:

1) People as citizens v people as consumers;

2) Governments as service providers v governments as regulators;

3) Taxation as a necessity v taxation as theft.


1) When the primary function of people within a nation is to be consumers of products, many inevitable, undesirable outcomes ensue. It is inevitable that business, motivated by the need to return profits, will not be interested in providing services to those who cannot pay. It is equally inevitable and undesirable that poor people will suffer and die in pain in this model of health care.

2) Governments used to DO things, however around the globe this is increasingly not the case. Government as provider, to citizens who need things, are ideas replaced (thanks to Reagan, Thatcher, their enablers, and their followers) by government as a bloated, corrupt, and inefficient entity in need of replacement by efficient businesses operating according to pure market forces; people as free agents able to get what they need and want in the pure marketplace.

(We never hear from people who actually work in the giant, evil, thieving government - I wonder why? Perhaps for the same reason that we never hear a rational view of bureaucracy - it is invariably a pejorative term. But those fellow citizens who do work for your government, probably trying their best to regulate the demonstrably corrupt corporate world, are not bad or evil people, and without bureaucracy we would be living in a Hobbesian world, trying to sleep at night with one eye open.)

3) Good health care could be provided to all citizens if sufficient tax were paid. A few cents from every tax dollar would ensure universal health care. Would that really be too high a price?

Really insightful :D

1) Maybe the healthcare systems can be made as non-profitable. But the people who are involved in the system has to earn a living from their service and the expenses has to be compensated. There has to be means either to earn directly from the healthcare system, or the system to be provided from some other mean. It may seem like quite unfavourable to the poor. But when everything is given free people tend to loose its value.

2) Sovereignty, Democracy, Bureaucracy all have their pros and cons. Most of the times any of this system can make the people's lives better depending on the people who are running the system. But what we see today is corruption in each and every system. People are prone to seek comfort for themselves above everything else.

3) Other than the very high earners who pay a separate tax as per their income, we all pay tax when we buy any good or a service. So at the end of the day a huge sum is collected as tax payers money. If that money is directed towards the correct places, it can do wonders. But we never see that happen.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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Sushan wrote: June 3rd, 2021, 2:37 am
Robert66 wrote: June 2nd, 2021, 4:46 pm There are a few other concepts in tension which could be usefully considered here:

1) People as citizens v people as consumers;

2) Governments as service providers v governments as regulators;

3) Taxation as a necessity v taxation as theft.


1) When the primary function of people within a nation is to be consumers of products, many inevitable, undesirable outcomes ensue. It is inevitable that business, motivated by the need to return profits, will not be interested in providing services to those who cannot pay. It is equally inevitable and undesirable that poor people will suffer and die in pain in this model of health care.

2) Governments used to DO things, however around the globe this is increasingly not the case. Government as provider, to citizens who need things, are ideas replaced (thanks to Reagan, Thatcher, their enablers, and their followers) by government as a bloated, corrupt, and inefficient entity in need of replacement by efficient businesses operating according to pure market forces; people as free agents able to get what they need and want in the pure marketplace.

(We never hear from people who actually work in the giant, evil, thieving government - I wonder why? Perhaps for the same reason that we never hear a rational view of bureaucracy - it is invariably a pejorative term. But those fellow citizens who do work for your government, probably trying their best to regulate the demonstrably corrupt corporate world, are not bad or evil people, and without bureaucracy we would be living in a Hobbesian world, trying to sleep at night with one eye open.)

3) Good health care could be provided to all citizens if sufficient tax were paid. A few cents from every tax dollar would ensure universal health care. Would that really be too high a price?

Really insightful :D

1) Maybe the healthcare systems can be made as non-profitable. But the people who are involved in the system has to earn a living from their service and the expenses has to be compensated. There has to be means either to earn directly from the healthcare system, or the system to be provided from some other mean. It may seem like quite unfavourable to the poor. But when everything is given free people tend to loose its value.

2) Sovereignty, Democracy, Bureaucracy all have their pros and cons. Most of the times any of this system can make the people's lives better depending on the people who are running the system. But what we see today is corruption in each and every system. People are prone to seek comfort for themselves above everything else.

3) Other than the very high earners who pay a separate tax as per their income, we all pay tax when we buy any good or a service. So at the end of the day a huge sum is collected as tax payers money. If that money is directed towards the correct places, it can do wonders. But we never see that happen.
It seems you are young enough to be unaware that there is an alternative to market rule. to reply to your responses:

1) In a public health care system people involved are paid by the state, from tax revenue. As someone who has benefited greatly from "free" healthcare (actually not free since I have paid a medicare levy added to my regular tax), I can assure you the immense value of such a system is not lost on me, nor anyone I know.

2) The opportunity for corruption, in the health care context, is minimised when you have workers employed by the state to care for fellow citizens. When such such care is handed over to private entities, corruption or adverse outcomes increase dramatically.

3) In some places we do see tax revenue directed to the correct places, including the provision of universal health care. Thank heavens I live in one of those places.
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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I believe it all depends on who is provides it. For a private practice and 'Big Pharma' it most certainly is a business, but for the government it is a service since it is a responsibility.
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

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Robert66 wrote: June 3rd, 2021, 4:30 am
Sushan wrote: June 3rd, 2021, 2:37 am
Robert66 wrote: June 2nd, 2021, 4:46 pm There are a few other concepts in tension which could be usefully considered here:

1) People as citizens v people as consumers;

2) Governments as service providers v governments as regulators;

3) Taxation as a necessity v taxation as theft.


1) When the primary function of people within a nation is to be consumers of products, many inevitable, undesirable outcomes ensue. It is inevitable that business, motivated by the need to return profits, will not be interested in providing services to those who cannot pay. It is equally inevitable and undesirable that poor people will suffer and die in pain in this model of health care.

2) Governments used to DO things, however around the globe this is increasingly not the case. Government as provider, to citizens who need things, are ideas replaced (thanks to Reagan, Thatcher, their enablers, and their followers) by government as a bloated, corrupt, and inefficient entity in need of replacement by efficient businesses operating according to pure market forces; people as free agents able to get what they need and want in the pure marketplace.

(We never hear from people who actually work in the giant, evil, thieving government - I wonder why? Perhaps for the same reason that we never hear a rational view of bureaucracy - it is invariably a pejorative term. But those fellow citizens who do work for your government, probably trying their best to regulate the demonstrably corrupt corporate world, are not bad or evil people, and without bureaucracy we would be living in a Hobbesian world, trying to sleep at night with one eye open.)

3) Good health care could be provided to all citizens if sufficient tax were paid. A few cents from every tax dollar would ensure universal health care. Would that really be too high a price?

Really insightful :D

1) Maybe the healthcare systems can be made as non-profitable. But the people who are involved in the system has to earn a living from their service and the expenses has to be compensated. There has to be means either to earn directly from the healthcare system, or the system to be provided from some other mean. It may seem like quite unfavourable to the poor. But when everything is given free people tend to loose its value.

2) Sovereignty, Democracy, Bureaucracy all have their pros and cons. Most of the times any of this system can make the people's lives better depending on the people who are running the system. But what we see today is corruption in each and every system. People are prone to seek comfort for themselves above everything else.

3) Other than the very high earners who pay a separate tax as per their income, we all pay tax when we buy any good or a service. So at the end of the day a huge sum is collected as tax payers money. If that money is directed towards the correct places, it can do wonders. But we never see that happen.
It seems you are young enough to be unaware that there is an alternative to market rule. to reply to your responses:

1) In a public health care system people involved are paid by the state, from tax revenue. As someone who has benefited greatly from "free" healthcare (actually not free since I have paid a medicare levy added to my regular tax), I can assure you the immense value of such a system is not lost on me, nor anyone I know.

2) The opportunity for corruption, in the health care context, is minimised when you have workers employed by the state to care for fellow citizens. When such such care is handed over to private entities, corruption or adverse outcomes increase dramatically.

3) In some places we do see tax revenue directed to the correct places, including the provision of universal health care. Thank heavens I live in one of those places.

I am not aware from which country you are. But I am from a country where free health is available (we do not pay any tax which is directly related to health. And also we have free education as well).

1) And I have seen how people just throw away freely given medicine. If they had to at least pay a penny they would not have done that.

2) Almost all the healthcare workers in my country are employed by the state. But later they develop various personal and political agendas and they forget about the fellow citizens out of whom they were chosen and placed in those positions. So, though all of them do not support corruption, there are a few who are at the higher levels operate as per various other agendas damaging the whole system.

3) What I see in my country is how politicians are using tax money for their own betterment and the voters are just going further down in their living standards.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Healthcare as a Service vs Healthcare as a Business

Post by Sushan »

Victorkibs77 wrote: June 3rd, 2021, 4:49 am I believe it all depends on who is provides it. For a private practice and 'Big Pharma' it most certainly is a business, but for the government it is a service since it is a responsibility.
Governments cannot directly earn from its citizens, because government is not a business. But that too has ways and means to earn. Taxes is the best way for a government to earn. These taxes can be added to pharmacies, health insurance companies, private hospitals, and any other health related organization, thing, or a service. Then ultimately who will get the profit from this healthcare business? The Governments.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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