The announcement from the White House and industry leaders is a promising sign that real problems with our health-care system may soon be tackled. The general proposals being discussed are a good starting point: care coordination, administrative efficiency, and payment reform.
Of course, this announcement is just that — an announcement. More needs to be explained, particularly on how these costs savings will actually be achieved. These solutions need to be real; otherwise, today will prove to be merely a press release.
However, America must do far more if we are to truly create a 21st-century, intelligent health system that will deliver better health outcomes at a lower cost. Over the next ten years, we will spend upwards of $30 trillion on healthcare. The amount pledged to be saved in today’s announcement is $2 trillion. That’s certainly no small amount, but it speaks to the magnitude of the problem. We should set our sights much higher. Between improving health, cutting waste, radically reducing fraud, and covering the uninsured, I believe that we could eliminate up to a third of all healthcare spending.
We can achieve this transformation by focusing on the right values.
We must improve individual health. Focusing on prevention, wellness, and early health will save countless lives and avoid hundreds of billions of dollars in costs every year.
We should also reform our healthcare system to deliver the best possible care. If doctors and providers are constantly migrating to the newest best practices, they will deliver higher-quality, more efficient care.
We can reform Medicare and Medicaid to be vibrant, sustainable programs. Reforming public programs to root out fraud, cut waste, and reward healthy behavior and quality care will place them on sound financial footing for future generations.
Finally, we can expand access and coverage. The savings from better health and better quality care can be used to insure every American.
At the Center for Health Transformation, we have posted a reform outline on how this can all be accomplished. Please download the document and share your feedback.