Nine Healthcare Changes I Hope to See in 2015

January 17, 2015

A new year yields new resolutions. Here are my personal goals for change in 2015, as well as how I hope the healthcare system will change.

A new year yields new resolutions, so I have set some personal goals for change 2015. Here is what I hope to accomplish this year:
• Eat more green vegetables.
• Exercise at least five days per week.
• Be a better listener.
• Read more.
• Be more patient.

I also have some high hopes for how the healthcare system will change in 2015. Overall, I would like to see a national and societal recognition of what is wrong and broken in our present healthcare system and how we can address it.

More specifically, I would like:

1. The new Republican-controlled Congress to NOT reintroduce legislation to repeal Obamacare. Since 2011, the Republican-controlled congress has voted more than 50 times to repeal or revamp the law. The reality is the Democratic president will veto any legislation to repeal his signature policy, so why would Congress once again “spin their wheels” for something that will never happen?

2. CMS to finally realize that the meaningful use mandate has become a sole exercise in data entry. Instead of providing measurable data and improving interoperability, it has become an exercise in capturing data, not improving healthcare.

3. Physicians to be reimbursed for the quality of the visits and procedures and not the quantity of the visits and procedures.

4. Individuals to acknowledge and understand that their lifestyle clearly contributes to their health, and to recognize that they can help prevent many diseases and illnesses

5. Healthcare systems and payers to fully recognize and embrace transparency, and every patient to know what the cost of their visit, procedure, hospital stay will be before the service is rendered.

6. All electronic records to be interfaced and interoperable and have the ability to “talk” to one another. The records from a primary-care physician to be available to the specialist, the pharmacy, the lab, the imaging center, the nursing home, the rehab center, the home-care agency, etc.

7. Medical device vendors and pharmaceutical companies to have “skin in the game” and if a device or drug does not perform as promised, the consumer or the purchaser of the item, to have part of the fee/expense returned to them.

8. CMS to create national, consistent standards for Medicaid benefits and payments that eliminate state-to-state differences.

9. Third party payers to have standard pricing across the United States and a knee replacement, or a basal-cell tumor removal, to cost the same in Chicago, Boston and LA.

Now that I have generated my lists and had the opportunity to review them, I believe my personal goals for change are kind of boring. To that end, please allow me to challenge myself, with some creativity and wishful thinking. In 2015, I will:

• Learn how to fly a plane.
• Learn how to sail.
• Learn to speak Dutch - did you know that in the mid 1600s, the Dutch had more ships than any other nation in the world?
• Speaking of the Dutch, I will also buy a kayak and circumvent the island of Manhattan
- if you believe that one, I have some land for sale worth $24.