THCB regular reader Deron Schriver wants THCB readers to suggest plans to reform the health care system. Here’s his appeal:
I enjoy many of the discussions on THCB. Intelligent people from all vantage points of the health care system congregate to engage in conversations about the most important issues out there. What if there was a way to translate those discussions into treatment plans for the ailments of our health care system?
Meaningful, sustainable reform can only come from a collection of people from the various stakeholder positions (physicians, patients, insurance companies, employers, etc.) who see what’s working and what isn’t on a daily basis. Politicians do not have the exposure to the system that is needed to prescribe effective solutions. However, they are in a good position to assist in the implementation of well-designed solutions.
We need to approach reform much like a physician approaches an ill patient. That involves obtaining some history, examining the system, and then prescribing a treatment plan. It would require a progress note, similar to what a physician uses, in order to document our work. After all, “if it wasn’t documented, it wasn’t done”. All problems considered should be discussed by all stakeholders until solutions are developed that 1) are thorough, 2) treat the problem and not the symptoms, and 3) are not zero sum. We need to follow the system all the way from the time the patient enrolls in an insurance plan, to the time she is treated by her physician, to the time the claim is paid (or not paid).
If you have experience with our health care system in some way, whether
it is as a patient or physician, employer or insurance broker, my plea
is this: Let’s continue engaging in thoughtful discussions about
reform, but let’s do so with an end game in mind. What if the
discussion got past the “What caused it?” and “Who’s to blame?”, and
progressed to the “How are we going to fix it?” and “Who is going to
help?” With all stakeholders involved, it’s easier to ensure that all
angles are covered.
As I said, I do not believe that our government is capable of devising
the solution we need. However, the government will prove useful in
implementing a solution because it’s likely that certain aspects of any
meaningful solution will involve elements that must be enacted into
Other reform efforts have produced proposals that do not
completely address the multidimensional nature of the problem, or do
not provide practical ideas for implementation. Our deliverable will
be a non-partisan solution that can be presented to our elected
officials, medical societies, and all other necessary entities to
obtain buy-in and plans for implementation. We have a duty as citizens
to contribute to the well-being of our society and our democracy.
While it seems like an overwhelming task, we really have nothing to
lose because we’re already talking about these things. If Matthew and
Sarah are willing to provide the medium, why don’t we have some fun
with it and see what happens?