Friday, February 20, 2015

Ken's Rule #2 for Controlling Health Care Costs

With many of the organizations I have volunteered with, significant focus is on  the Triple Aim regarding Health Care Reform.  These are:

  1. Improve the experience
  2. More cost effectiveness
  3. Improve the overall population health.

This second item has been the focus of much debate over the last 6 years, and from my experience, here are my top three to address costs:

  1. Personal Responsibility
  2. Address last 6 months of life
  3. Providers must come to term in understanding their costs.

So, lets talk about addressing the last 6 months of life.  We all are mortal, and no matter how advanced our medical knowledge is, everyone's time does come.  So, how do we address our final days?  Part of the background of this country is so much based on the personal aspect, by default we expect opt in vs opt out.  All you have to do is look at the ACA debate on how dare the government force me to have insurance, that is my choice.  Not focusing on the discussion here, but think about provide for the common good.

But, part of that debate focused on Medicare to reimburse doctors to discuss end of life options with patients.  IMHO, a great disservice was done to this country with the inflated death panel label. Reason being, since we have to opt in, the percentage of us who have medical directives and wishes, very low.  Therefore, hospitals must do everything they can to keep patients alive.  Additionally, since no plans were put in place, there is then confusion as to who has the right to make decisions for the patient who at that point, can't.

That is why this article caught my eye.  Tackling tough decisions end of life scenario  We spend way too much money in these end of life scenarios without helping to patient with quality of life and dignity.

If you have not setup your directives, hopefully after reading this article you may change your mind.


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