Many people are divided on the right path to take in terms of health care. Some think it is a right that should be provided to all citizens, while others consider it a social good. Either way, we need to focus on prevention. The following suggestions are a start. In addition, increased investment should be made in programs that reduce the incidence of preventable diseases. These measures could reduce future high health care costs. Moreover, more attention should be paid to identifying the factors that lead to increased health care costs.
Despite the benefits of quality measurements, some critics say that most of them fail to capture the true value of health care. Despite the promise of improved outcomes, most “quality” measures do not accurately reflect the patient’s overall health status. In reality, they are merely a measure of adherence to practice guidelines. For example, providers of diabetes care often measure the reliability of LDL cholesterol checks and hemoglobin A1c levels. Yet, patients care more about the risk of diabetes complications, such as dialysis and amputation.
In addition, value transformation requires a shift in clinical organizational design. Organizations should be organized around a need or customer, not around a process or department. The shift from a traditional siloed approach to a patient-centered organization can be made possible with the help of an integrated practice unit (IPU).
For example, Medicaid and CHIP programs are tax-funded. Federal tax revenues account for about 63 percent of the program’s costs, with state and local government funds making up the rest. The federal government was fully responsible for the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act until 2017, but gradually reduced its funding share to 90 percent. Similarly, CHIP requires no cost-sharing for preventive services. As a result, the cost of health care is increasing in most developed countries.
One of the main causes of rising costs is the failure of healthcare reform. The health care industry has lacked clarity about its goals and is pursuing the wrong goal. Too many goals have been set that divert attention from the most important goal: improving the health of patients. Instead, the objectives should be improving the health of patients and reducing costs. The goal of implementing the value agenda should be a focus of employers. Ideally, they should take the lead in implementing these changes.
Healthcare is a broad industry, and it includes several sectors. According to the United Nations’ International Standard Industrial Classification, health care activities include hospital and medical practice, allied health activities, and “other human health activities.” The Global Industry Classification Standard (ISIC) includes such industries as biotechnology, diagnostic laboratories, and drug manufacturing. There are many different ways to achieve the same goals. As long as people are committed to getting the best possible health care, they will have the opportunity to succeed.