How to Fix Health Care Now

I was going through our archives of Newsletters and came across this, which I sourced from a Readers Digest in 2008. I think its worth a reprint.

In America, we spend around $2 trillion a year on Health Care. But how do we fix our healthcare crisis? Here are a few ideas.

Fight the big five. Nearly 75% of spending goes to coronary artery disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, asthma and depression. We need to fight these conditions with all we have. Simply put, $77 billion could be saved if only 1% of these people were successfully treated.

Give the Medical Industry an FAA equivalent. If a plane crashes, the FAA is immediately onsite, investigates, finds the problem and requires the industry to fix the problem. Medical mistakes kill almost 100,000 patients per year. We could save at least $17 billion a year and many lives would be saved in the process.

Misdiagnosis and wrong treatments cost as much as $312 billion per year. A service called Best Doctors offers its members customized second opinions from top specialists and subspecialists. Making this service a standard would save billions, not to mention reduced suffering and increased chance to get well.

Pay employees for healthy habits. Safeway discovered that 70% of healthcare costs were linked to unhealthy habits. They offer lower premiums for those who live healthy, lose weight, quit smoking and choose generics over brand-name drugs. If others followed Safeway’s lead, the country could save at least $600 billion.

Fight cancer by sharing information. Reduce our nations sluggish and costly drug-approval process by bringing the biotech, drug and diagnostic companies together. Speeding up the FDA results process would reduce the number of failed drugs and also the price of prescription drugs.

Make prescriptions electronic to reduce drug related injuries. E-prescriptions provide dosage checks, instant drug interaction checks and patient medication history. Congress is providing incentives to doctors who
e-prescribe. Annual savings could be nearly $4 billion.

Source: Readers Digest, November 2008

February 17, 2011 8:00 pm Published by