KRWG News: 2013 Domenici Conference Interviews: Bill Frist


Published on Sep 19, 2013

(LAS CRUCES) — Bill Frist, M.D. was in Las Cruces Thursday during the final day of the 2013 Domenici conference held at the Las Cruces Convention Center.

He’s worked in healthcare for 35 years. He says most days, he still prefers being called Dr. Frist rather than Senator Frist…

“I spent 20 years practicing medicine before losing my mind and going into politics but…I still spend a lot of time around physicians. Physicians are scared to death today that patient care is going to be by a bureaucrat…insurance company instead of with a doctor. Doctors are worried about reimbursement…worried that they will no longer be able to serve people who are underserved….I think, however that in this new environment of empowering the patient, the individual — that there’s going to be a new alignment between the patient and the doctor that can be more powerful than anything we’ve seen in the past….means a partnership…with empowered patients to make sure they receive the best care,” said Frist.

The senate majority leader from 2003 to 2007 as a Republican, he has his criticisms of “Obamacare.”

“Well Obamacare addressed a fundamental pillar of reform…access. And it did a fair job…it’s not going to realize its potential there…what it doesn’t do is address the cost issues, that costs will skyrocket. Your healthcare’s gonna cost you more. My healthcare’s gonna cost me more because that’s the price we pay to expand access. Its single biggest failure is that it did not address cost issues at all,” said Frist.

Bill Frist’s father was a doctor who carried a black bag and made house calls…an era Frist says may come back around in some form or another.

“I think we will see a movement from hospitals to home healthcare…palliative care…it’s too intimate, too personal…to take that human element out,” said Frist.

Sloan Patton reported.

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