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Quality Digest

Health Care

Engaged and Accountable Health Care Reform Plan

Published: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - 10:03

(Medco Health Solutions Inc.: Franklin Lakes, N.J.) -- Noting that the United States spends twice as much per capita on health care as most other developed nations, but achieves no better clinical outcomes, Medco Health Solutions Inc. chairman and CEO, David B. Snow, Jr., unveiled a pragmatic blueprint to address the technological, regulatory, clinical, and societal reforms needed to create a sustainable system that enables affordable access. From fixing the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to trimming the United States’ collective waistline, Snow advocates tough choices to tackle controversial issues challenging government, the private sector, patients, and physicians to become actively engaged and accountable for improving both clinical and financial outcomes.

The five-point plan represents an integrated approach to health care reform that includes progressive, interconnecting building blocks with a goal toward health care savings. The five points are:

  • Wire health care
  • Eliminate medical liability through protocol-driven medicine
  • Address Medicare’s financial fundamentals
  • Increase compliance, while reducing errors
  • Promote healthy lifestyles

“Wiring health care is the key that drives accountability and unlocks a new era of protocol-based medical practice,” says Snow. “With established protocols in place, medicine then transforms from an art into a science where quality is validated, errors are averted, compliance improves, and liability, along with the need to practice defensive medicine, is significantly reduced.”

According to Snow, the technological and process-driven advances, combined with a national imperative around healthy lifestyles and policy leadership will permanently alter the slope of health care cost increases, and help to permanently address the financial fundamentals of Medicare.

Addressing the root-causes of the health care cost conundrum requires transcending political lines and a commitment to a policy with a longer-term view.

“When our political discourse is limited to ‘who pays the bill’ instead of ‘the bill is too high,’ and fails to address root-cause problems, that isn’t health care reform. In the end, we all pay the bill, and it’s currently two times higher than it should be, could be, and following this plan, would be,” says Snow.

For further information, visit http://medco.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=341.

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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.