Health Care Will Not Reform Itself: A User's Guide to Refocusing and Reforming American Health Care
By George Halvorson
Published by Productivity Press in 2009
Health care reform is within our reach. According to George Halvorson, CEO of the nation's largest private health care plan, only by improving the intent, quality, and reach of services will we achieve a health system that is economically feasible into the future.
This year, Americans will spend 2.5 trillion for health services that are poorly coordinated, inconsistent, and most typically focused on the belated care of chronic conditions. What we have to show for that expenditure is a nation that continues to become more obese, less healthy, and more depressed.
In Health Care Will Not Reform Itself, Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson proves beyond a doubt that the tragically inconsistent care that currently defines the state of U.S. health services is irresponsible, irrational, but more importantly, fixable. With detail that might shock you, he shows why the nonsystem we now use is failing. Then, applying the same sensible leadership that makes Kaiser the most progressive health care organization in the world, he answers President Obama’s mandate for reform with a profound incentive-based, system-supported, goal-focused, care-improvement plan.
Halvorson draws from respected studies, including his own, and the examples of successful systems across the world to show that while good health care is expensive, it is nowhere near as costly as bad health care. To immediately curb care costs and bring us in line with President Obama's projected parameters, he recommends that we:
- Take a preventive approach to the chronic conditions that account for the lion’s share of medical costs
- Coordinate patient care through a full commitment to information technology
- Increase the pool of contributors by mandating universal insurance
- Rearrange priorities by making health maintenance profitable
- Convene a national committee to figure out the right thing and make it easy to do
While this book offers sage advice to policy makers, it is also written to educate the 260 million stakeholders and invite their participation in the debate that is now shaping. What makes this plan so easy to understand and so compelling is that it never strays from a profound truth: that the best health system is one that actually focuses on good health for everyone.