CoVid has covered up the serious challenges in the delivery of healthcare, but once the pandemic eases, those issues will again be front and center.
CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES, October 6, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — With the daily headlines, everyone’s attention has been laser focused on the COVID pandemic. As such, many of the problems plaguing our healthcare delivery system have all been temporarily assuaged by the government’s, insurers’ and healthcare establishments’ unprecedented and unrestrained response to this calamity. While necessary and commendable, this behavior has cloaked the appearance of the eight hundred-pound gorilla still lurking in the room – the broken healthcare delivery system – that after COVID fades away will once again be front and center. Witness, the recent September 18th headline in the Washington Post Business Section: “The days of full covid coverage are over. Insurers are restoring deductible and co-pays, leaving patients with big bills.”
In his book Modern Healthcare Delivery: Deliverance or Debacle? A Glimpse from the Inside Out distinguished physician Dr. Michael Zema highlights many of the changes that have occurred in healthcare delivery, some of which not only have not met their goals, but also have had unintended downstream consequences for patients and providers. Some examples include…
• The electronic medical record (EMR)
• The accountable care organization (ACO)
• The failure of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center (CMMI) with only 3 of 54 piloted alternative payment models having demonstrated cost savings robust enough to go mainstream – this at a cost of billions of taxpayer dollars – a weak return on investment.
He goes on to identify five key concerns that continue to confront healthcare delivery today…
• Financial barriers to patient care
• The fee-for-service model of payment
• The practice of defensive medicine with its associated waste
• The excessive administrative costs associated with a multi-payer system
• The lack of a fiscally and politically acceptable form of universal healthcare.
While identified separately, Dr. Zema points out that many of these issues are inexorably interlaced, and as such, any potential solution to one, will have requisite effects upon the others. Evolving piecemeal over more than half a century, Dr. Zema explains the problems inherent in today’s healthcare delivery system are complex and to assume their solution will be simple is naïve. He quotes H.L. Mencken as having once stated, “For every complex problem, there is a solution which is simple, direct and wrong.”
Dr Michael Zema on the How Not to Think podcast