What We Need To Know About Healthcare System?
Healthcare is an ever-changing and evolving subject these days, with hundreds of new healthcare approaches introduced regularly. These approaches range from new treatments, new technologies, better treatment practices, and improved care practices and can also include new legislation and systems. Each new system and approach tries to address different aspects of healthcare, and sometimes successfully, and sometimes, more loosely. Even within a single healthcare system, the medical community still struggles to find innovative approaches to improve our healthcare system.
One of the most crucial areas that are still lacking in our healthcare system is new technologies that can improve our healthcare system and its patients’ health. Many potential new medical technologies are in development around the world. Still, very few have reached the point where their use is consider safe and effective enough for widespread implementation. At a minimum, existing technologies need to be implemented in a more responsible way to avoid negative consequences for the patients.
Just last month, healthcare professional and healthcare entrepreneur Atul Gawande wrote about the healthcare system in the Boston Globe. His article featured an article in the MIT Technology Review about new healthcare technologies designed to create a healthcare system that is more efficient, more equitable, and ultimately provides more effective healthcare.
What Is This New Approach?
Gawande discusses the shift in healthcare technologies that are now being designed to address the specific needs of the patients. The need to deal with an aging population. A healthcare system that is strained with more individuals with chronic diseases. The need to encourage patient participation, and most importantly, improve healthcare practices and systems.
One of the most novel healthcare technologies now being discussed is a “healthcare accelerator” model. According to Gawande, this model would provide basic assistance and funding for medical technology startups, and the startups would be responsible for deploying and improving their technologies to improve healthcare.
Gawande emphasizes the need for technologies that can promote patient participation. As he points out in the MIT Technology Review article, his own experience with health reform has led him to believe that patients can contribute to healthcare improvement.
What Does This Mean For Healthcare?
As Gawande puts it, these new technologies would provide different ways for the healthcare to “get out of the way” of improving healthcare. Healthcare providers, nurses, and physicians would not have to spend as much time managing the inefficient systems of care and follow-up that are in place today. Instead, healthcare professionals and health systems would have the time to devote to improving patient care and improving the quality of care they deliver.
One of the main elements of the new model is a movement away from having a healthcare insurance that is more similar to a marketplace where one gets an insurance plan for the type of healthcare services that one can get. Instead, we could have a healthcare that is more like a system owned and operated by patients that provide benefits based on the types of healthcare services they seek. Insurance companies would provide insurance benefits based on the services provided.
One possible effect of this new model is simplifying the healthcare. Where we could have fewer healthcare insurance plans with more defined benefits. It might simplify the way that health insurance companies provide health insurance benefits. However, it could also require healthcare insurance plans to pay a higher percentage of the costs of healthcare services. Suppose the insurance companies don’t have to provide insurance coverage for certain healthcare services. In that case, that will reduce healthcare benefits, and those services would likely not be available to those who a healthcare insurance plan would not cover.
Coordination Of Healthcare System-
We could also have a healthcare system that is better coordinated. And geared toward reducing the negative impact that healthcare consumption can have on patients. Patients would be more responsible for the actions of their healthcare providers. In addition, we might reduce the overuse of healthcare services in some instances, especially for patients who have chronic diseases.
Gawande recognizes the importance of improving the quality of the healthcare system. However, his primary focus is on improving the system to benefit patients.
What Does This Mean For Healthcare Reform?
It is difficult to predict how such a healthcare accelerator model would change the healthcare system in the United States. In addition, many important questions remain to be answered.
The main question is how we would sustain this model and how we would define what we mean by healthcare. Healthcare is now mainly define as a system that provides access to healthcare. However, a healthcare accelerator model is more concerned with providing healthcare benefits. And developing technologies that improve healthcare services and delivery quality. As Gawande notes in the New Yorker article, “What if healthcare were define by its results—as a system of health care. Rather than as a marketplace of health services?”
Further, as Gawande points out, this model could also change how healthcare providers are compensated. Most of the healthcare systems in the United States are run on a revenue-base system. However, a system geared toward improving the quality of the healthcare system. And reducing healthcare costs could motivate providers to change their current business models. The current insurance system provides incentives for healthcare providers to provide the lowest possible healthcare services level. And avoid providing quality care. It is unclear if this system would change if we used a model that rewards the healthcare providers. To provide higher quality healthcare services and improve the quality of the healthcare system.
And specifically, it is unclear whether this new model would reduce the need for health insurance coverage. Or if the insurance companies would make their coverage less generous. As they sought to provide coverage for the quality of healthcare that patients need.