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Communities Reducing Medical Care Costs…And Covering Everyone

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TR Reid on Health Care Delivery System Spending - How to Make It More Cost EfficentTR Reid, who wrote the book on competitive medical care costs – The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care – has a new program on PBS in which he investigates what different communities across our country are doing to control medical care delivery system costs while providing quality care and covering everyone, regardless of insurance coverage.

For example, Grand Junction, CO, set up a cooperative medical group in which all doctors joined the voluntary association to include all patients, whether covered by Medicaid or private insurance or no insurance, which financially incentivizes health practitioners to increase outcomes while at the same time spreading out reimbursement regardless of insurance. In other words, doctors offices are rewarded financially for producing better patient outcomes than average at much lower costs.

Another example is Everett, WA. Everett designed a system that provides superior individual care while insuring that utilization (usage of medical and technology procedures) is cost efficient. Boeing, which self insures its employees, joined the program as an experiment to determine if employee health care costs could be reduced while providing quality health care. The result has been remarkable in both patient health care and cost savings.

Maybe these innovations don’t mean much to the general population as a whole or to politicians who are more concerned about being elected or re-elected by playing on voters fears or ideology. But for our national economy – to keep our nation and businesses from going bankrupt as a result of extraordinarily high medical care delivery costs – it is imperative.

30% of health care spending is spent on unnecessary procedures and a failure to closely monitor patients effectively and efficiently. If doctors, health care plans, and patients joined together using current and future research and technology, Reid says, the costs of our health care delivery system could go down dramatically while at the same time every patient would receive the care they need and deserve.

May I add that many of these cost efficient programs were in place long before PPACA was passed, but that program has invested more into research towards what is working to reduce costs while increasing patient outcomes.

The simple fact is this nation can no longer afford, either in dollars or global competitiveness,G-20 Health Care Spending per GDP the unsustainable growth of expenditures of our health care delivery system. Right now, the US spends 17% of GDP on health care. At the very least the US spends 6% more than every other G20 nation on health care…that amounts to billions of dollars in lost incomes to employees and businesses as well as creating an enormous, budget destroying burden on the federal budget. By 2020 without controls, health care costs are estimated to consume more than 20% of GDP and by 2025 up to 25%.

Figuring out how to control costs in the health care delivery system while providing care to every person regardless of income should be national priority to prevent business and governmental fiscal bankruptcy.

The choices should not ethically or morally be made based on personal income, but rather on what is good for the entire nation.

The moral and values choices should not be letting those who cannot afford the high cost of a health care delivery system fade into obscurity and lack of optimum outcomes, but rather how the system itself can be recreated to provide the best health care system that serves everyone at the most cost efficient price. It can be done as cost efficient Health Care delivery systems across this country have found.

Watch the entire PBS video to learn what innovative health care communities across the country are doing to better serve their communities while reducing costs and increasing outcomes.

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Written by Valerie Curl

February 27, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Posted in health care, Politics

One Response

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  1. A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.Jim Rohn

    Eimear Gobshite (sorry)

    March 11, 2012 at 9:55 PM


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