Healthcare Reform Pace is Dizzying, but Unavoidable
No one should doubt the sincerity of the doctors' concerns. However, the "used to be" method of practicing medicine that Sorrell refers to relied on a fee-for-service model that has been a key driver in rising healthcare costs.
Donald Berwick, MD, the former and controversial administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, noted in a study this spring that waste, fraud, and abuse exceed 20% of total healthcare expenditures in the United States. Medicine can no longer afford to simply "do what is best for you and your family" in an uncoordinated manner that doesn't attempt to streamline processes and identify wasteful redundancies.
While many of us can remember a simpler time for healthcare delivery, those days are gone for good.
The driver here is not ideology or politics. The driver is money. Healthcare is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many of Americans with annual cost growth that is two- to three-times higher than the rate of inflation in the overall economy. (That may be about to change in Massachusetts, where a cost containment bill is on the way to being signed by Governor Deval Patrick (D).)
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