Efforts to improve the health of the general population are typically addressed to diseases and behaviors that increase the risk of identifiable preventable disease and disability. In sharp contrast, medical care is a service delivered to a patient.
Last August I abandoned my health insurance company when they escalated my premiums from $400 a month to nearly $1,200 a month in just a few years because they could. I have rheumatoid arthritis, an allegedly incurable malady that can cause severe inflammation and pain, and possible early death.
As our health care system moves from compensating providers on the basis of quantity of care to quality of care, it's very important to measure hospital performance. But a key limitation for that measurement is patient selection.
The future of a quality, efficient health care system rests in our ability to press industry players to embrace collaboration and push for the creation of a connected ecosystem where, from patient to payer, mHealth technology acts as the ember to spark ongoing innovation.
With adequate, stable funding that ensures basic foundational capabilities, the nation's chief health strategists can take advantage of several evolving opportunities to turn the nation's sick care system into a true health care system.
In this week's issue, Peter Goodman and Jeffrey Young look at the 49 million Americans who lack health insurance, "a crowded group that no one chooses to join." And Radley Balko writes about a Mississippi cold case -- part real-life murder mystery, part exposé of the state's justice system.
As evidence mounts that innovations such as smart devices can improve the health and care of an individual, more resources must be focused on their development and integration into the health care system.
While much of the health care "GDP gap" between the U.S. and other nations can be attributed to cost of living, it's undeniable there's plenty of room for reimagining our approach to health care, not simply in terms of reform, but in market-driven innovation.
The present state of health care in this country to an increasing extent involves strangers caring for strangers, with patients' narratives and life stories no longer a key element guiding decisions about their own health care.
We must acknowledge that our health care system is composed of people -- it doesn't just take care of people. Those people -- our cardiologists, nurse practitioners, X-ray technicians, and surgeons -- work better when they work together.
Brian Goldman makes an impassioned personal case for changing the culture of medicine by admitting errors of judgment. I think that the most important step in making that change is recognizing the relationship between physician and patient for what it really is: a partnership.
Now that Obamacare is real and functioning, we appear to be seeing a real-life example of the correlation-without-causation problem. How do the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services establish that the reason a patient was admitted was because of a hospital's negligence?
The real problem is that the big dollar incentives don't line up. The folks with the most skin in the game (insurance and pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and large medical associations) profit dearly from the status quo. More care equals more money.
In directing ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare, Susan Froemke and I explore how our system is broken and why it doesn't want to change. But we also highlight pioneering leaders and courageous patients across the country who are implementing solutions.
Even if the roadblocks to greater funding were to disappear, Governor Romney's "let them eat emergency rooms" stance doesn't begin to get at a way to fix our broken health care system. Ask any emergency room doctor.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology of the Department of Health and Human Services recently held its 2012 Consumer Health IT Summit on the continuing effort to advance consumer access to health information.
There is only one way to begin chipping away at the exorbitant cost of health care in America. That is by each and every individual adopting a new and different mindset to control spending. This includes those of us who write daily about health issues.
There are innovative solutions already at work in communities across the country. There are very smart clinicians, hospital administrators, policy-makers, business executives, and community leaders who are fighting to rescue the system.
Was Marcus Welby better able to treat the entire patient than Dr. House? It is time for America to create an oral history of the medical profession. These gray-haired physicians may illuminate how we might meld the best of the past and the promise of the future of medicine.