Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The balance of health care costs and health care delivery

Now that the Senate looks like it has given up on its single payer sweeping health care bill it is time to consider incremental health care reform. The principal of reciprocity is a critical to linking health care delivery with cost control. I believe that twitter followers understand this argument and can help our legislators make sense of it.

When you look at health care reform you should take “deep throat’s” advice from the movie,
'All the President’s Men", “follow the money”. The vast majority of the money spent on health care is coming from expensive medicines. If prescription drug companies are willing to lower their prices to other countries to enlarge their market share, then drugs should be re-imported to pass these savings on to United States patients. This measure will introduce the kind of competition into the market place that will control costs.

Pre-existing conditions are not spread across the population. They need to be. The concept of insurance is to spread risk out across a healthy population. Health care delivery should be portable and available to those of us with catastrophic illness. Crossing the boarder of New Jersey when I live in South Eastern Pennsylvania should not require a health care visa. This practice is awkward and makes health care more costly. The health care payer (insurance) and provider should establish a practice that works in the interest of the patient.

Health care must be opened up to less costly alternative medicine practices. This medicine and therapy may not cure a patient, but it can give them hope and comfort. The growth of disease and illness is outpacing our current research and development of it. If we can not keep up with the development of disease, then we can at least make it more comfortable for the patient in the last days of life. In this day and age of a growing hospice movement health care is becoming as much about comfort as it is about cure. Therapy caps can be eliminated in the current health reform measure if alternative medicine is able to compete in the open market. These reciprocal measures represent some of the incremental change to bring cost into balance with treatment protocol.

No comments:

Post a Comment