Policy Paper: Alleviating the Healthcare Crisis Through Positive Incentives

About 10% of Nova Scotians don’t have a family doctor. Our healthcare system is in crisis.

This can easily be fixed with a single tweak to the billing system: Allow doctors working overtime hours to bill through insurance tickets at a 2/3rds redemption rate. (That is, patients could use their existing insurance tickets for other medical services to see their family doctor faster in overtime.) In addition to patients seeing doctors faster, this would mean about a 3x earnings compared to regular patients for doctors, and a savings of 1/3rd for insurance companies. This would create clear positive incentives for patients, doctors and insurance companies.

But what about other patients?

Simple. There are more “doctor hours” available to treat patients. More doctor hours means better healthcare. Better healthcare means improved health outcomes. Improved health outcomes means less stress on the healthcare system, which means more doctor hours.

Patients with insurance could see doctors in overtime hours, which would reduce the patient load in doctors’ regular hours. Those patients would receive faster access when needed, and this would lead to better health outcomes for them.

With more regular doctor hours available, queue times would be shortened for everyone. Instead of waiting 3 weeks, a patient may need to only wait 2 weeks.

But the benefits of more doctor hours would cascade throughout the healthcare system.

If a patient can see their doctor quickly, they can avoid hospital visits for an “aspirin and bandage”, i.e. treatment that should be provided by family doctors in their offices.

Better health outcomes would also mean fewer hospitalizations. This would save money and free up further doctor hours to treat patients.

Summary: More doctor hours means improved health which means less requirement by people to see doctors which means more doctor hours to alleviate the current healthcare system crisis.

We could list many more benefits here, but you can read the Atlantica Party’s Alleviating the Healthcare Crisis Through Positive Incentives policy paper for more information.