What is a health coach, and why are they paid $121 an hour?

The movement of “health coaching” is gaining some traction in health care circles.

PookieMD explores the phenomenon, and finds that a health coach, among other duties, “help people clarify their health goals, and implement and sustain behaviors, lifestyles, and attitudes that are conducive to optimal health; guide people in their personal care and health-maintenance activities; and, assist people in reducing the negative impact made on their lives by chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.”

As she says, that sounds suspiciously like what primary care is supposed to do, but can’t within the current paradigm of the 15-minute office visit.

So, instead, people with no prior medical training are taking advantage, by signing up for courses over the internet and training to become a health coach. Some sites promise $121 an hour (“at least”), without having to leave home, and there are no worries about malpractice.

Imagine what those with an actual medical degree can do as a health coach. It’s no wonder why so many physicians are leaving medicine, and finding cash-only alternative medical practices so appealing.