First and foremost, our country has fixated itself on taking care of sick people and building institutions and reward systems for how we care for the sick, not how we prevent people from getting sick. Some have suggested that the Western culture lifestyle of our work-life balance is a social impact to this and that the fact the we aren’t more European in our lifestyle choices then lead to unexpected (really, are they?) consequences such as a higher use of healthcare, psych services, etc.
Many practitioners of healthcare treat the symptoms and not the actual cause of health issues. I am personally a huge believer and advocate that you can’t cure the patient and you cannot really get into full prevention until you practice holistically around the social determinants of health — recognizing that conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.
While we see a fair amount of hospitals closing in rural communities and also even some major city systems collapsing, it is because they have not focused on revenue/expense parity in their delivery of healthcare coupled with the ways and means to bring the right talent pools into their midst to practice based upon what I have stated above. The government’s role in what it is or isn’t doing/supporting/defending in the ACA complicates all of this and we need to get a basis of stability in what the government’s position is and what it will be to allow the systems to calibrate and move forward — we can’t leave these folks flatfooted based upon the whims of a tweet or a sudden reversal of course — they are too big to be nimble and change at a whim.
As a part of Christina Warner's interview series with leaders in healthcare, she had the pleasure to interview Terry Rowinski, President of Health Payment Systems, Inc. Read the full original interview here.