1) The high price of health care and possible solutions
2) Obamacare priorities
I. The high price of health care and possible solutions
A complex ecosystem of costs in health care
this article was in the washington post on 3/14/13
points out the incredible variations within a region on health care prices for MRIs, doctor visits, and many other aspects of the health care system. The article is based on the work of Gio Colella, CEO, Castlight Health
This paper fits in very well with a program sponsored by the Center for American Progress (CAP) entitled
The High Price of Health Care
A Conversation with Steven Brill
This program builds on Brill's special issue in Time Magazine
The program included Brill, Colella, and Ezekiel Emanuel who contributed key parts of the Affordable Care Act.
Brill papers discusses both the wide variations in prices, and also the large profits and salaries for executives and practitioners in the medical care field. Further these prices are increasing in health care while other prices remain constant.
The speakers proposed the following key solutions to reducing these inequities:
Expand competitve bidding based on price and quality
Increase transparency as to price and quality. The above articles drive this point very well re prices.
The health exchanges will put pressure on the providers to control prices.
An all payor system
Other ideas that were discussed
Improved care for chronically ill
More prevention through public health systems
More consumer education
Here are my thoughts
Test and evaluate accountable care organizations
Test and evaluate integration of services such as post acute services
Examine options for alternatives to the high costs to the last year of life and end of life care.
Expanded use of electronic health records and greater integration of the different systems.
Integration of payments and services for dual eligibles
Here is an earlier blog that I wrote on this topic. Particularly see the CAP paper.
II. Obamacare priorities
I would be very interested in thoughts from each of you as to the next key steps to implementing Obamacare. My guess would be how well the Health exchanges get off the ground is one key. Obviously there will be successes and failures in terms of getting the information out, enrollment, and the quality of the plans. What other keys are there that the administration and the health care field need to focus on.