We're here to educate consumers on healthcare. We will discuss everything from Healthcare Reform to quick tips in making complaints. The patient is an integral part of the healthcare team, and we will help you get an insider's view on how to navigate the healthcare system.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Healthcare Reform

Healthcare reform will reward providers that manage and coordinate services more cost effectively while improving quality of care. I think this is an interesting point. As we deal with the healthcare reform changes, consumers should become more aware of the interactions with providers and the healthcare system. Costs should be tied to need, in that, we should be able to charge people for the cost of a procedure if they insist on it regardless of medical effectiveness. The more people have to pay for the over-use of care that they demand, the less they will demand it. Patients and the medical community should be shifting our focus to maintenance of care and preventive medicine, not necessarily the latest and greatest surgeries and miracle pills.

There are five chronic diseases / conditions that account for the majority of healthcare costs. I see nothing in reform that addresses controlling these five issues. Diabetes, Coronary Artery Disease, Depression, Congestive Heart Failure, and Asthma constitute the majority of all healthcare spending in the US (Halvorson, 2007). We have made an important step in recognizing the need for change, however, the change we landed on does not get us to long term stability. We must change the way we pay for care, and we must focus on preventing disease and maintaining care. I recommend reading George's book, its a good overview of the whole situation, and it provides some great data. I don't agree with everything in the book, but it gives you great information to start from.

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