In my last post, A Path to Profound Healthcare Transformation, I discussed how our low-value healthcare system is built upon our country’s pathologically mutated form of capitalism. I then described a new direction for transforming the current broken system into a high-value patient-centered system that delivers top quality care and does it efficiently and at a good price (i.e., cost-effectively) over a person’s entire lifetime.
Healthcare is in crisis…[and] will become unsustainable by 2015…I contend that the only way to deal with our healthcare crisis is by defining value from the consumer/patient point of view, as well as enabling us all to obtain cost-effective care and be rewarded for doing so. In addition, providers and insurers who deliver the greatest value to the patient/consumer should enjoy competitive advantage and reap greater profits.
The second article, titled Survival Plan --which is written by a fine author, Maggie Mahar--reports how the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac) warned that:
…unless Congress makes some hard decisions about how to contain health-care spending, Medicare won't be able to sustain its current program -- let alone expand coverage to the entire nation…if Medicare continues spending at the current rate, it will hit a wall in twelve short years: At that point, the trust will be able to cover only 79 percent of Medicare's costs. …Billings from physicians [have been] spiraling, largely because the volume and intensity of the services they provided were rising. This was in part because …Medicare pays physicians fee-for-service. The more they do, the more they are paid. In other words, the financial incentives of the fee-for-service system reward quantity, not quality.So, the need to bring patient-centered value to our healthcare system is critical! Our Patient-Centered Life-Cycle (PCLC) Value Chain is a sensible path for our country to follow.
I previously said that integrating emergency care, sick-care and well-care is the cornerstone of the PCLC Value Chain. This is because high-value to the patient means receiving the care you need when you need it, including:
Emergency Care Through Emergency ManagementThe first link in the PCLC Value Chain involves emergency management. In an emergency, especially in a widespread disaster, saving lives and property depends on the timely exchange of information between command & control units, 1st responders (fire fighters, police, EMTs, trauma center staff, etc.). Our current system has failed in many areas, as witnessed by the Katrina and 9/11 disasters. We are vulnerable; the threat is real. Systemic changes needed to handle disasters include establishing Emergency Information Exchange networks that enable the following: