The Commanding Priority: An Effective National Health System
If ever there were two questions crucial to the development and delivery of any cure, and almost entirely independent of the cure itself, those have got to be it. By precedent and fortune, luck and happenstance, America finds itself uniquely provisioned with a healthcare delivery system saddled with so many stakeholders that the patient often finds him- or herself at the tail end of a very long list. If the patient makes it on the list all.
Payment reform, whether through the Affordable Care Act or through private incentives, is revolutionizing how we think about treatment and cures. Health information, previously imprisoned in file cabinets or entombed in black-box electronic health record systems, emerges to give life to population health management and the patient-centered health home. And patient engagement – whether viewing lab results online, sharing FitBit results with the doctor, or deciding how and when to die – will change what the true meaning of a cure is.
Whether demanded by the patient, implored by the provider, or legislated by the government, we stand on the edge of a dazzling frontier of opportunities for the delivery of care. Perhaps that will be the great cure for the next great age: The solution to who pays. And how.