I happen to like
I posted a comment in response on the Medscape site. To sum up: I see Herzlinger, Newt Gingrich and their ilk as hanger-ons to healthcare. I like to think that I sometimes add value for the business side. I also like to think that I’ve gotten my hands dirty and paid some dues.
I found Herzlinger’s opinion piece to be an invective-laden diatribe that grabbed a headline or two, but didn’t deal with the real underlying issues. Poverty, obesity and substance abuse are the cost drivers. Other countries do not have the scale of these conditions that we have here in the
One of the biggest drivers of rising healthcare costs, poorer outcomes and the general culture of money comes from a cultural shift in healthcare, from focusing on caring for people to a race to get bigger and richer. In my Medscape comment post, I wrote:
“The “Wall Streetization” of healthcare can be traced back to the 1980s. In the Reagan era, we were told that if we only adapted business practices, we would be more efficient and costs would be lower. We should act like big businesses– expand, diversify, get aggressive about collecting fees. Well, there are also “diseconomies of scale”– the large, diversified conglomerates of health care providers become inefficient, cold and impersonal, and expensive. We went into healthcare to care for people — we would be paid well, but we weren’t out to seek riches. Now we were belittled for thinking that way. Poor, poor us.”
One of the reasons I write this blog is so that, in my own way, I can speak out against this cultural shift, and encourage others to fight our way back to where we belong. As an industry, we spend $2.2 billion — yep, we had better be able to show that we are responsible with this fortune. As a nation, we have 46 million people without insurance, and we have to face this head on and create a tax-based system to pay for it. Not tax credits, deductions, subsidies or other Rube Goldberg machinations. Our current insurance system is bad enough — why make it worse? But I digress.
I’m requesting a review copy, and hope to offer a review shortly. In the meantime, I would welcome you to sound off here……and over at Medscape (just mention this blog as well! J ).