‘Skin in the game’ isn’t the an­swer to what ails health­care sys­tem

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing the Sept. 26 edi­to­rial pub­lished in ad­vance of this year’s first pres­i­den­tial de­bate (“Thank you for that ques­tion, Lester,” p. 24), one should note our ex­pe­ri­ence with some of the cost-sav­ing strate­gies de­scribed. The “skin in the game” con­cept is fa­mil­iar to mil­lions en­rolled in high­d­e­ductible health plans, which not only en­cour­age one to post­pone care, but ap­pear to fail to pro­duce longterm sav­ings.

The pub­lic is awak­en­ing to ero­sion in the value of cov­er­age as pre­mi­ums, de­ductibles and co­pay­ments are ratch­eted up­ward. Sug­gest­ing that con­sumers should shop more ef­fec­tively fails to rec­og­nize that most Amer­i­cans lack both the re­sources and op­por­tu­nity to make such com­plex com­par­isons.

Pub­lic frus­tra­tion is pal­pa­ble, and re­cent drug-pric­ing scan­dals un­der­score the deficit of pub­lic con­fi­dence in gov­ern­ment ac­tion to slow ris­ing health costs, as well as the press­ing need to do so.

Wil­liam Pewen, Ph.D.

Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.