William Bestermann, MD
No matter how far up the food chain you are, the failure to reform US healthcare puts you and those you care about squarely in the crosshairs of physical and financial catastrophe. Almost everything that you love about life depends on your health. You may have the wherewithal to have a vacation home and a yacht. You may have access to the best interventional cardiologist, but almost no one has access to optimal medical therapy to treat and prevent chronic conditions.
No one has access to the best new science and systems because of an abject failure of leadership at multiple levels. If you don’t get best practice medical treatment and develop a heart attack with congestive heart failure, your endurance and enjoyment of life will be diminished. The failure to improve health and lower costs creates a medical financial bubble that puts every segment of our economy at risk. Men will frequently ignore their own health for a dollar, but are you really ready to throw your spouses, parents, and best friends under the bus? Are you ready to put national security at risk? Really?
Moneyball tells the story of a team manager who turned baseball on it’s ear by using data, evidence, and systems to do more with less. Money medicine isn’t like that. Money medicine defends old expensive treatments that are proven ineffective, while failing to apply new data, evidence, and systems.
We know how to do this. We know how to develop a system that serves patients and voters. The way forward has been spelled out in detail years ago. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) brings together the best and brightest in American healthcare to provide advice on health policy. In 2001, the IOM called for drastic change and provided a roadmap for reform that has been entirely ignored. Nothing has changed 18 years later.Read More