Better Healthcare for Less — Even the NY Times Says: “It’s a movement!”

I’ve been saying it for years now, it’s the theme of Healthcare Beyond Reform: Doing It Right For Half The Cost — and now it’s even hit the editorial pages of the NY Times: A June 2 editorial, “Treating You Better For Less,” trumpets the “good news” about a “grass-roots movement” using “already proven techniques” that “could transform the entire system in ways that will benefit all Americans.”

“It is a measure of how dysfunctional the system has become,” says the editorial, “that these successful experiments — based on medical sense, sound research and efficiencies — seem so revolutionary.” It goes on to describe several of the kinds of new ventures in efficiency and effectiveness that make up the core of Healthcare Beyond Reform, in different healthcare systems and health insurers across the country.

The news here is not that these things are happening, or that they are so widespread that they can be called a “grass-roots movement.” The real news here is that the movement has gained such momentum that big, mainstream media organizations outside of healthcare, well beyond the policy wonk orbit, have begun to surface what may turn out to be the biggest story of our times: The largest sector of our economy turning inside out, like some movie transformer, on the way toward providing all of us with far better care for far less than we could possibly imagine. Better healthcare for half the cost.

There’s a lot to it. This revolution may not be televised because of its very complexity, and the vast, subterranean, even tectonic nature of the structural economic changes causing the surface changes we are seeing. Nor will the movement stop if the ACA reform act is thrown out or gutted by the Supreme Court, or repealed by a new Congress and President, because the movement was not started by the reform law. It was generated by demographics and economics, the sheer unworkability of our current system, and the data power that allows us finally to see into it, to try new things, and measure their results.

As a healthcare speaker, writer, and consultant, Joe Flower has explored the future of healthcare with clients ranging from the World Health Organization, the Global Business Network, and the U.K. National Health Service, to the majority of state hospital associations in the U.S. Joe writes at imaginewhatif.

2 replies »

  1. A true grass-roots movement does not follow the dictates or actions of those who are currently the cause of the problem. Aetna and other insurers are Fortune 100 companies who answer to investors. Unless Aetna plans to make a large profit in fitness clubs, nutritional products, behavioral counseling, yoga studios and the like, looking to multi-billion dollar corporations that were born out of a disease model entrenched in healthcare will never ever result in health for all.

    I agree, the way to find health and create change is via the people. It’s by teaching people to understand that they are in control of their health, no one else and that includes doctors who are steeped in disease-oriented mind-sets. At the same time, it’s teaching doctors to step aside and stop trying to control health and disease, but collaborate fully with those who provide many different healing aspects of care (acupuncture, massage therapy, etc.). We should know by know that the absence of disease does not equal health. And finding health simply does not cost as much as America has been taught to believe.

    We are suffering epidemics from our own choices. We are suffering from the way we’ve created an entire medical model that’s based its foundation in polarization, fragmentation and the myopia of disease.

    The way to change people to health is through a real grass-roots movement that empowers people to change their perspective first and operate from a health paradigm, not a disease paradigm. A real grass movement in health will collapse this system. And from that, something fair and just will arise.

    Check out my article on Kevinmd.com at http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2012/06/health-care-change-public.html

    Join a real health conscious movement on Facebook/TheHealthConsciousMovement, Twitter@HealthMovement or visit my website a http://www.7poh.com – all based on a new paradigm in health instead of incrementally tweaking the disaster we have today.

  2. Joe you write: “This revolution may not be televised because of its very complexity, and the vast, subterranean, even tectonic nature of the structural economic changes causing the surface changes we are seeing. Nor will the movement stop if the ACA reform act is thrown out or gutted by the Supreme Court”

    Yes! The movement on the ground has a momentum of its own– within the health care industry (where hospitals have already invested in
    improving how they deliver care) ; in the insurance industry (where Aetna is now funding the IT for a group of hospitals– Aetna’s CEO understands that going foward they will no longer be in the underwriting business, they’ll be in the “keeping people healthy” business,; among small businesses,
    that have begun takng up the offer of tax credits as they offer insurance
    to their employees, and in the general public where more and mroe
    people want and expect guaranteed issue, community rating, essential benefits, and subsidies—even if that means that some pay higher taxes.

    As you say,economically, our current fragmented, inefficient, wasteful, for-profit health care system has hit a wall. Fewer and fewer emplloyers and families can afford it. A great many doctors and nurses are very unhappy
    with the quality of care. And Americans are beginning to realize that we don’t have “the best healthcare system” in the world.