The first is that we need to redesign our healthcare system so that we reward “value rather than volume.” No argument there. It’s also very much in keeping with what Senator McCain is talking about these days.
He then turned his attention to the HHS “efficiency roadmap.” Lots of good initiatives. (I know, there are always a lot of “good initiatives.”) What was missing, however, was how to overcome one of the most significant roadblocks – state lines. Specifically, in addressing a group made up of large employers, the Secretary didn’t discuss insurance deregulation as a strategy towards more affordable, accessible, and patient-centered coverage. This must be a key strategy in the “value vs. volume” proposition.
He spent the lion’s share of his remarks (and productively so) talking about the need for inter-operability of healthcare IT platforms – where HHS has helped to both design and implement some successful programs lead the still nascent national dialogue.
One comment he made is worth repeating for both its wit and honesty. Leavitt quipped that “the wonderful thing about healthcare standards is that there are so many to choose from.”
And may we all live in interesting times.