Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
My son Brad Feld wrote in response to my blog“How Software Innovation Can Cause Creative Transformation Of The Dysfunctional Healthcare System”,
Outstanding blog post dad.
And I think your punchline is completely correct - the healthcare software innovators should focus 100% of their energy on the patient and the physician (their customer). That would quickly transform everything in the healthcare supply chain.
Can you imagine what would happen if the government subsidized Borders and Barnes & Noble? Yup - pretty easy to see that they'd be doing fine and "bookstores would be classified as a public good." What nonsense.”
Healthcare policy makers are trying to reform healthcare using a defective business model.
The business model of 1945 to 1965 was a model that put the patient and physicians in the center of care.
Post Medicare in 1965 the business model changed because lots of government money came into the healthcare system. The secondary stakeholder began to devise ways of taking that money out of the system before and after the money was spent on direct patient care.
The relationships between patients and physicians became distorted. A giant hairball of vested interests by secondary stakeholders came between the patient physician relationships.
Well-intended policy makers tried to fix the system by making revisions and updates to a broken business model.
These revisions only made the healthcare system more expensive and less effective in the care of patients.
The 2011 business model is a jumble. The secondary stakeholders control the healthcare system and interfere with the patient physician relationship.
President Obama’s healthcare reform law is making the healthcare system worse. It is pasting regulations and restrictions on top of a failed business model.
It does not consider a way to get back to the effective business model of 1945-1965 for the 21st century.
It reminds me of Microsoft and Windows. Microsoft is pasting revisions on top of the DOS operating system of the 1980s rather than revising the operating system.
Obamacare has added complexity to the system. There are many bad ideas such as Accountable Care Organizations and pay for performance rules to name just two. It does not deal with tort reform or patient responsibility for their own care and their own healthcare dollars.
Rather than pushing the secondary stakeholders to the edges of the healthcare system, Obamacare gives these stakeholders increased control over patients and physicians and destroys the patient physician relationship.
The critical turn is necessary now.
The 2020 business model of Obamacare will increase the velocity of healthcare system collapse. The result will be an increased budget deficit. Healthcare spending can escalate beyond GDP in 40 years.
At this critical turn we must go in a sustainable future state direction. The business plan must be exchanged with a completely new business model. The new business model must be unrestrained by the present business model.
This is where software innovation comes in. Software must be built that redirects the model to a consumer driven healthcare system.
It has been a disaster for the government, healthcare insurance industry and hospital systems to control the healthcare system.
It must be controlled by consumer choice, responsibility and actions with consumers owning their healthcare dollars. Legislation must be written to provide consumers with choice, responsibility, and incentives for compliance.
Consumers are the only ones that can demand this option. Consumers changed the course of SOPA and PIPA. Consumers can change the course of healthcare.
The secondary stakeholders will not give up their power easily. It will only come as a result of the Internet and innovative software that teaches consumers about their power.
Steve Jobs did it with iTunes, iPods, iPhones and iPads. Apple is about to do it with TV. Jeff Bezo did it with Amazon and the publishing industry.
The 2020 business model in the future state must have the following advocates, software developers, healthcare policy wonks, CEO’s of large corporations and small businesses. Most importantly, people 20-50 years old who are ell must start becoming engaged now so they can have a viable healthcare system when they get older. All these groups must think about the future state without present government restrictions. Steve Jobs did it for Apple. It can be done for healthcare.
The components of the future state should be,
- The Ideal Medical Savings accounts,
- The Ideal Electronic Medical Record,
- Patient Responsibility for their care and healthcare dollars,
- Patient education as an extension of physicians care
- A team approach to chronic disease management with the patient becoming a professor of their disease, the team leader and the physician the coach with his healthcare team assistant coaches,
- Tort Reform
- Integration of specialty care.
All of these components must be executed at the same time. Consumers must be taught to drive the system.
Skeptics who are try to hold on to power and protect the validity of past policies will fight hard just as the music industry, the publishing industry and the movie industry have.
In the end the skeptics will realize the virtues of Pareto efficency. All the healthcare industry secondary stakeholders will thrive, as the patient physician relationship once again will be revitalized.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.
Please send the blog to a friend