Do we have the courage to address healthcare?

KEY TAKEAWAY: Our current healthcare model i not sustainable. To change healthcare is going to require an approach that removes lobbyist money and focuses on delivering a healthcare experience that removes financial stress from patients.

If you’re a regular reader of this BLOG, I don’t need to go into details on how profitable our healthcare system is for companies. Almost every day some media stories focus on people left behind by the complexity and expense of healthcare in America. To change our healthcare system is going to require strong leadership and a renewed focus on people instead of Wall Street.

The United States has always been about business. Capitalism is entrenched in our democracy but what explains profits over patients or people declaring bankruptcy because they can’t pay their medical bills? The answer is very simple; Wall Street.

Healthcare CEO’s are compensated on their company’s stock price performance. The pursuit of profits has become the primary objective of healthcare organizations and, lost in this strategy are patients who are seeing raises eaten by higher insurance payments and deductibles. Insurance CEO’s are taking homes tens of millions of dollars as more and more expenses are passed on to customers. As a result, people are angry because they feel helpless.

The second problem with healthcare in the US is its complexity. PEW Internet tried to explain the prescription drug landscape but it’s really a very complex system meant to hide real costs and maximize profits. Behind it all is a system that takes a percentage of every prescription drug sale to the point that drug companies who have raised list prices are actually getting lower net prices.

To change healthcare we have to dissect the current system and start with a renewed system that focuses on patients and controlling costs. We need to treat people like people and stop ordering tests that do nothing but increase costs. Drug companies need to unite and declare that “no patient will go without a prescription drug because they can’t afford it.”

When patients enter our healthcare system, they want to know that they will be well taken care of and that they don’t need to worry about the expense of treatment. CEO’s who see Wall Street as their primary customers need to be ousted and replaced with people who focus on the best treatments.

Finally, we need to get big money out of politics. I know, it’s been said before but money appeals to the greedy and greed doesn’t care about patients.