Conflict may be as old as the first species. I  imagine those first two life forces on our planet had some sort of conflict. It’s inevitable in our world: we will all have some sort of conflict throughout our life and careers.

One current, never-ending conflict we can agree on is with the insurance industry. Contracts are being cancelled, at worst, and unfairly renegotiated at best.

Think about all of the boxing underdogs who went in with a puncher’s chance. In those situations, almost everything had to go perfectly. Or, in some cases, one thing had to go exceptionally well. The puncher has to punch the entire bout, the defense has to take stand after stand, or the offense has to take extra risks that it would only take when facing a Goliath of an opponent.

So, in that “perfect” scenario, physicians build workflows, design processes, and create workarounds in our EMRs.  We optimize our patient scheduling and clinic time…only to stay on the phone with insurance companies all day. We’re waiting for the approval, denial, or the next announcement of a reimbursement cut.

As Voltaire reminds us, “perfect is the enemy of good.” So, I propose, let’s change our focus from being perfect for an insurance industry , to being “good” for each other. Let’s find innovative ways to work together, even when some of us are in direct competition. There are plenty of lives to cover in our community. We can work together and deliver high-quality, low-cost healthcare that our patients need.

I welcome your thoughts at ccummins@mdmemphis.org