The Fight to Rescue American Health Care
By Kristi Jhangiani
It is pretty well known in the health care field that our system is broken, and needs some serious TLC to turn it around. As Obamacare is slowly being adopted, it is more important than ever to address these changes, and use the momentum to find better solutions for fixing the system.
Obamacare’s expansion of medical services is sure to create even larger gaps in the ratio of primary care physicians to patients. As the system is swamped by these demands, it's hard to imagine how to resolve the constant tension between the number of patients seen and quality of the health care delivered.
Despite the creation of Accountable Care Organizations and adjustments to Medicare reimbursements under Obamacare, the scale is likely to tip in favor of quantity over quality.
Knowing this, how can we change the system? So many attempts have already been made, what is it really going to take? As health professionals, it is our duty to bring innovative ideas to patient care.
There’s no question that policies are difficult to change and will take a lot of money, manpower and motivation. But if we start making small changes on the local level, we can change the orientation of the system. Honestly, it’s an attitude adjustment that we really need.
If people stepped back and realized that low-cost methods of prevention could drastically reduce the need for higher-cost care, we could start to bring the cost curve down and save a lot of money.
So how do we change attitudes? Where do we start? The answer is, we start with a system the federal government already controls: Medicare.
Sustainable changes that happen under Medicare, such as reimbursements for certain pharmacy services and coverage for mental health patients, will encourage private companies to follow suit. It is going to take a lot of work, to transform our current sick-care system into true health care.
If you are interested in finding a way out of this backwards health care system, come to the screening of “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Health Care,” sponsored by the Institute of Health Care Improvement Open School on Wednesday, February 20, at 6:30 p.m., HSW-300. Dinner will be provided. Please RSVP by February 19. at http://bit.ly/EscapeFireScreening. There will be a follow-up discussion on Thursday, February 21, at noon, in N 217. Details on these events can be found in the events section of Synapse.
Kristi Jhangiani is a second-year pharmacy student.