Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Delivering Health Care to the People

US Health Care Spending

Whose health does the "health care" industry care about when they spend $1.4 million per day in an effort to block health-care reform? Obviously, it's not the health of American citizens. The "health care" industry is now the "profit care" industry as the pursuit of profit has totally replaced the pursuit of optimum health.

So, how do we get our health care system back? A health care system that places the needs of people before profits. How do we transform the inefficient, wasteful, fragmented health care structure we have today? That does not deliver value - defined as patient health outcomes per dollar spent - to the patient, only to the corporation.

Well, according to Harvard Business School professor, Michael Porter, author of Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on Results and founding member and member of the Executive Committee of the Council on Competitiveness, and The Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness.

Porter believes significant improvement in value to the patient requires fundamental restructuring of our health care delivery system. In order to achieve this, it's not enough to track only patient survival rates, health care outcomes must be measured as well, including: degree of patient recovery, length of recovery process, side effects, complications, relapse, sustainability, etc. In other words, data and result measurements must be created that allow for good decisions and which motivates and informs the provider community so that the quality of health care continuously improves.

The nature of competition in the insurance industry, as it is, destroys value to the patient by encouraging the exclusion of sick people, beating up on doctors and forcing down reimbursement so that physicians must cut the time spent with their patients

"While competition can be a powerful force that results in creation of value, this has not been the case in health care. In health care, an organization can have financial success without creating value for patients. This is because the type of competition that has existed— zero-sum "bad" competition—is not aligned with value. Competition has focused on shifting costs, increasing bargaining power, and restricting patient choice and services."
The inefficient piecemeal system we currently have must be replaced with an integrated structure that coordinates and streamlines care which will result in better outcomes at lower cost.

Three organizations must be created to oversee this type of health care system :

1. Coordinate the outcome measurement process.
2. Sort out electronic medical records.
3. Sort out reimbursements.

How Physicians Can Change the Future of Health Care

Redefining Competition in Health Care

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