'It is important not to let our guard down': What we heard this week

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Physicians spoke with Becker's on a number of topics this week, including vaccine mandates and staffing challenges.

What we heard this week:

3 surgical techniques shaping gastroenterology
Brian Dooreck, MD. Gastrointestinal Diagnostic Centers and the Memorial Healthcare System (Miami): As more and more patients are interested in stopping chronic medical therapy with proton pump inhibitors, endoscopic therapy for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease is evolving. Patients are also looking for alternatives to traditional antireflux surgery. In my opinion, gastroenterologists need a better understanding of the therapeutic options, besides surgical intervention, to patients who cannot or do not wish to take chronic PPI medications for GERD.

ASC execs split on vaccine mandate amid staffing woes
Allen Chiou, MD. Administrator of Unicare Surgery Center (Anaheim, Calif.): I can see this being a contentious issue since, unfortunately, this issue has adopted political undertones. The important thing is that ASCs focus on adopting systemwide policies that keep patients as safe as possible. It is important not to let our guard down even if our staff and patients are all vaccinated, since vaccines are not 100 percent effective.

What are GI's biggest disruptors?
Sheldon Taub, MD. GI specialist in Jupiter, Fla.: The biggest disruptor in the GI industry, as well as in the healthcare industry as a whole, is the insurance companies. As long as they're allowed to dictate healthcare to the general population without medical input, our healthcare system will be in shambles. Presently, healthcare administration is lopsided — with the insurance companies controlling the administration of care. The system has to be changed with significant medical input to administer the best healthcare to the population as a whole. Until that happens, our healthcare will be compromised.

'This is a time for ASCs to thrive,' surgeon says on the looming physician shortage
Timothy Kremchek, MD. Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine (Cincinnati): I think the physician shortage is going to swing to the advantage of the physician. With higher competition, many physicians are fighting for new business, especially "good business." This will allow better physician reimbursement, hence, higher motivation.

As there is a shortage and more physicians age, the one thing they want is efficiency. Time is of the essence. This is a time for ASCs to thrive. Multiple rooms for surgeons and efficient use of staff and the rooms will allow more cases to be done and still allow the surgeon more time away. Surgeons will pull away from the slow-moving bureaucratic hospital as they can find more of the things professionally they want to do in a far easier, efficient, streamlined system — the ASC.

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