An Open Letter to the Next President of the USA
February 22, 2016
Dear Mr./Madam President,
Every election is a new beginning and America is more than ready for a new beginning in health care.
We pay higher costs and get worse health outcomes than any other industrialized country in the world. Our three trillion dollar medical industry creates an invisible tax on American wages that’s high and growing. We simply must do more to reduce costs and improve outcomes.
Lost amid the roiling rancor surrounding the Affordable Care Act is the fact that both parties agree on a number of good ideas that represent sensible paths to reform.
All agree that coordinated care works and uncoordinated care costs and kills. At CareCentrix - through our HomeSTAR programs handling patients with complex needs - we solve for the routine failures in care transition that harm the patient and cost the system. The best performing systems in the country, like Kaiser or the Cleveland Clinic, are already perfecting ways to coordinate patient care in their systems. We need to change the incentives at a Federal level to accelerate this necessary improvement.
Experts in both parties agree with the transition from fee for service healthcare to fee for value. Sylvia Matthews Burwell, the current Secretary of HHS, has started a number of payment reforms for Medicare that require providers be paid on a budget as opposed to activity. As President you should support, accelerate and enforce this change.
There are many uncertainties in health care, but one thing is for certain: our bloated, high cost system needs to go on a diet – and the only way to enforce that diet is forcing our system to start managing a budget.
Another reform idea where both parties agree is engaging the states to drive change. Health care is still a hyper-local industry where public need and health system infrastructure could not be more different in New Mexico than in New York. Most agree (outside the DC beltway) that, as President, you can delegate and incent the States to engage in their own state specific reforms and innovation. The Federal government needs to set clear goals to fulfill our social obligations around coverage and benefits and then permit the states to organize to meet (and hopefully exceed) the triple aim of reducing costs, improving outcomes and delighting patients and their families.
Now is the time for bold bipartisan health care reform. Success in bending the trend in health care costs will create a budget windfall that can help fund most of your other priorities (whatever they may be!).
Tags: affordable-care-act, home-based care, homecare, homehealth, readmissions