Healthcare Reform - Letter to President Elect Barack Obama

Posted by fareed shakir on December 30th, 2020

As it pertains to healthcare, I know think that the general public doesn't might like to do all the research in uncovering the very best doctors, hospitals, or health insurance plans anymore than they would like to research the most financially solvent bank or safest restaurant to eat in. Nevertheless I wrote my book Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely - Making Intelligent Choices in America's Healthcare System precisely because that is the way the healthcare industry and Obama healthcare plans employers, who choose the insurance, believe the machine in general will improve. At the very least if that is the expectation, provide the general public the skills and knowledge to help make the right decision.

My comments to the President Elect highlight a completely different system of reform, which already exists and is just a uniquely American solution to the healthcare crisis.

To President Elect Obama:

Healthcare is currently given by hospitals and doctors each working separately in little fiefdoms which worked well two centuries ago when patients died of acute illnesses and infections. Today patients are busier than ever, caring for aging parents, and coping with chronic illnesses, which were never faced by generations ago. People already gets a number of choices in financial services, gadgets, air transportation, and dining, which can be given by well-run, respectable, focused organizations. Why don't you healthcare? Americans don't want the level of responsibility of researching doctors, hospitals, or health plans anymore than they wish to review the safety records of airlines, DUI reports of pilots, or the maintenance records or airworthiness of the aircraft they're about to have on. Similarly with healthcare what they expect and want is an individual friendly healthcare system to look after them once they get ill.

The good thing is a uniquely American solution already exists and can deliver with this promise. Research indicates that the vertically integrated healthcare organization Kaiser Permanente consistently outperformed university and community hospitals in decreasing threat of cardiovascular disease by 30 percent. Other studies show that the VA healthcare system using its salaried doctors provided better care to its diabetics than doctors in the fee for service community. Other organized healthcare organizations like Geisinger Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health have shown superior outcomes than the fragmented uncoordinated doctors and hospitals around them.

Healthcare will never be cheap, but we could get more for the dollars. The Dartmouth Atlas of Care found that although there was not just a large difference in health outcomes, the cost of caring for Medicare recipients within the last two years of life varied widely from ,000 per patient at UCLA, ,000 at John Hopkins, and ,000 at Massachusetts General, to the best at ,000 at Mayo Clinic. The "savings" from the most expensive programs might be moved to provide better access or quality care to those that require it, however it won't change the sum total medical cost expenditures.

Our healthcare crisis will simply be solved if the entire industry reorganizes into systems which are aligned to concentrate on the conclusion product, great healthcare delivery, as opposed to the piecemeal mom and pop cottage industry which currently exist. That is far harder than it sounds and will require leadership from within healthcare to take action in addition to federal leadership on changing the payment structure to encourage quality as opposed to volume.

If as a nation we fail to resolve this crisis, our economy will just worsen while the workforce will end up increasingly unhealthy as more people see healthcare unaffordable and consequently will struggle to work or be competitive in an international marketplace. This can be a competition we cannot afford to lose.

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fareed shakir

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fareed shakir
Joined: February 28th, 2019
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