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Healthcare Reform: Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Jeff Elliott, for HealthLeaders Media, November 10, 2010

This has given the health insurance industry a perfect platform for insisting that healthcare reform is less about a law, and more about joint industry efforts to contain costs and improve quality ? right away.

"We cannot wait any longer to address this issue," Ignagni said about addressing healthcare costs.  If we are to have a sustainable healthcare system, "we need to improve value, productivity and consumer satisfaction," she added.  

But if she's expecting payers and providers, regulators and consumers to put aside their biases, don't hold your breath. The entire country, her organization included, is so divided on the best way to reform our healthcare system, it's unlikely we'll get much of a consensus without some federal directive, whether it's in the form of the law as it is written now, or some iteration created by a mixed congress.

As it stands now, healthcare reform has the chance to improve access and quality with patient-centered care and pay-for-performance initiatives. It also can be achieved in a reasonable timeframe. But considering all the factors that weigh on healthcare—that will be amplified with increased access to services—it's not likely to ease costs anytime soon.

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