Health has become a political issue, but politics haven’t solved the main problems with the healthcare system.
Some claim healthcare is a right, but others assert that it’s a privilege. I believe that health is a fundamental human right and staying healthy is a mission. It is a mission to earn your right. A right is something worth fighting for.
The mission of VirtuMed360 is to make every healthcare option available to everyone equally, and available to everyone at a reasonable and affordable cost. Healthcare is a mission to reaching a healthy life.
It is our responsibility as individuals to ensure a quality roadmap in this mission.
Today’s Healthcare is a Swamp
Healthcare in America is a quagmire and a political swamp. It has become a wastebasket for healthcare dollars. Our system has been ruled by legislative amendment after amendment, executive order after order mandates on top of mandates and too many “magic-bullet” proposals to solve our healthcare problems.
We have thousands of pages of affordable care act (ACA) provisions, inefficient and poorly utilized technologies, and half-baked strategies.
We still have imbalances in care reimbursement, biased performance evaluations for healthcare providers and a system being held hostage by entitlement programs.
Politicians and special interests have rationalized irrational corporate influence. Independent practices have been weakened and undermined, and physicians unfairly get the blame for it.
There are abuses involving patients’ private health information, including reckless data privacy breaches that jeopardize privacy.
We’re also facing skyrocketing costs for medication and health insurance premiums. Insurance companies have a virtual monopoly, and there are over-inflated costs. And pharmaceutical companies have their own monopoly, which has brought up the suspicion of kickbacks.
There has been a loss of patient autonomy
Healthcare is a complex issue, and there is no simple solution for its many problems. Americans have been conditioned to think most healthcare should be paid for by someone other than the patient. This view was likely spawned by government entitlement programs like Medicare for the elderly, Medicaid for the poor and the tax exclusion for employee health insurance.
Paradoxically, this view has cost America plenty! According to the 2017 Milliman Health Cost Index, typical families with employee health benefits pay $7,151 in direct employee contributions and pay another $4,534 out of pocket for care. Their employers pick up another $15,259 towards employee health costs.
So how do we find the bottom of this swap without draining it?
We need a return to value-based payment
We need a system where value is determined by patients controlling their own money, not a bureaucracy where prices and values are set by political and business entities that have nearly complete control of prices and healthcare quality.
We should be empowering and engaging patients to make healthcare decisions with information and support from their healthcare team. Patients should take part in the development of provider performance measures that are relevant to them and consistently and transparently reported by all public and private payers.
It’s time to design voluntary payment models that incent greater participation and achieve the highest quality and cost value based on patient choice and competitive markets. We must expand the use of waivers from fee-for-service legal and regulatory requirements that impede collaboration and shared accountability while preserving consumer protections and safeguards against fraud.
These are only a few of the steps we should be taking to ensure higher quality and fairer system of healthcare to all people. Next week, I will be outlining further steps we need to take on this mission.