TRUST AMERICAN INGENUITY TO FIX OUR TROUBLING HEALTH CARE ISSUES
October 4, 2006
If Americans are to enjoy all the benefits of an ideal health system, we must all be willing to invest genuine, concerted effort into its design and implementation. We must build a 21st Century Intelligent Health System. Such a system will save lives and save money for every American -- and is absolutely vital to ensuring our nation's long-term prosperity, says Newt Gingrich, former House speaker and founder of the Center for Health Transformation.
We need a new model of paying for health care:
- Our current payment system pays doctors and providers for simply delivering care, regardless of the outcome.
- Doctors, hospitals and other providers that deliver better care are for the most part paid at the same rate as those who provide poorer care.
- Like any other rational market, we need a reimbursement model that takes into account the quality of the care that is delivered, not simply that it was delivered.
We must uphold and deliver consumers' right to know cost and quality information before they seek care:
- Private insurers are beginning to release this information to their members, but the best data for this purpose can be found in the Medicare claims history.
- Medicare has detailed information on nearly every doctor and hospital in the country. These data can inform the public regarding who are the better performers and who are not without compromising patient privacy.
- Unfortunately, the Health and Human Services Department will not release the data, despite the fact that they are paid for by the taxpayers; Americans have a right to know how their doctors and hospitals perform, and the public must continue to demand it.
Source: Newt Gingrich, "Trust American Ingenuity To Fix Our Troubling Health Care Issues," Investor's Business Daily, October 4, 2006.
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