Today's vote in Congress is mere politics - there is a vote because the GOP believe they have enough votes to pass something. The bill will be voted on without a CBO score, which seems irresponsible for a bill of this magnitude. Once again, this is a GOP-only effort so collective thinking is not part of what is in the bill before the House today. Nonetheless, new legislation might become reality sometime soon. When it does, we can expect that legislation to remove or decrease funding for some key services that keep care more affordable if we have preventive and basic services funded.
What MUST We Do?
The healthcare system must be more aggressive in doing the work that we used to rely on the government to fund. That's it in a nutshell.
- Preventive care is more cost effective than acute care;
- Most people want to be healthy;
- We need to work on integrating care on behalf of patients to make it easier for them to take care of themselves and achieve the outcomes they want;
- There are health issues that are directly associated with poorer socioeconomic conditions people live with - these are well-documented, well-known, and will continue to exist to the extent that these conditions continue;
- Outcomes matter;
- Patients are consumers - and they are increasingly paying for healthcare costs.
What Every Health System's Top Priority List Must Include:
- Deliver care that improves outcomes, health, and wellness;
- Be responsive in ways that matter to patients and their families (access, availability, education, help);
- Aggressively coordinate care;
- Negotiate/partner differently with commercial payers;
- If necessary, find new ways to fund basic health services (partner with employers, cities, communities)
- Relentlessly track progress on the above items.
We will need to be more bold in taking care of our communities than before. Those that do can expect to do better in the long run.