In my last blog on July 27th I spoke of a sort of paradigm shift as a way to combat chronic disease in in our country. Imagine a reward system that actually rewards the doctor for keeping patients healthy. I suggested using alternative medicine providers and the the primary care physician to fill this roll. IBM and United Health Care Group are actually now testing this idea out in Arizona.
The idea behind this is that if patients can stay healthy we have fewer people landing in emergency rooms and fewer people on the chronic condition list. President Obama has also stressed preventative health measures.
I am old enough to remember when the family doctor oversaw all ones medical. When needing to refer you on to a specialist the family doctor acted as ones advocate. I don't know where it went but we need to bring back this role to the family doctor.
Solution #2. Put health care back in the hands of the consumer. Consumers need to be more involved in health care as they are in all other aspects of their lives, Mike McCallister, president and CEO of Human Health Care told an audience at a recent 2009 Wharton, health care business conference. With regards to health care "you can't get the price and quality information to make smart health care shopping decisions."
Allow consumers to make choices about how they want to spend their health care dollars. Consumers can be very savvy shoppers when they know what things cost. When consumers need have a stake in the game and when we are spending our money we tend to spend more wisely.
We're all going to have to have a little skin in the game. Check back over the next several days as I outline other solutions and reforms in the way insurance companies do their business.