Bi­par­ti­san solutions es­sen­tial, but let’s take it even fur­ther

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

I con­grat­u­late An­thony Ter­signi on his ex­cel­lent com­men­tary “Af­ter ar­du­ous journey on health­care re­form, it’s time to take the road less trav­eled” (Aug. 4, p. 25) on the crit­i­cal need for bi­par­ti­san­ship if we are go­ing to fix what ails the na­tion’s health­care sys­tem. How­ever, I do not be­lieve that he has cast a broad enough net.

The pro­fes­sional care­giver/provider, payer and pur­chaser/busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties can­not and should not get a free ride. They all need to check their egos and self-in­ter­ests at the door and jointly rec­om­mend changes to our health­care de­liv­ery and pay­ment sys­tem that are truly pa­tient-cen­tered. Which na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions will have the courage to lead on this mon­u­men­tal is­sue and be the con­vener of the par­ties, even at the risk of los­ing mem­ber­ship?

We also need to dis­pense with the pre­req­ui­site of bud­get neu­tral­ity. If an idea is truly good for pa­tients, then we should want every­body do­ing it. Bud­get neu­tral­ity im­me­di­ately cre­ates an en­vi­ron­ment of win­ners and losers. It has doomed many good ideas to fail­ure in the past. Bud­get neu­tral­ity is sim­ply bad health­care pol­icy.

Fi­nally, any rec­om­men­da­tion com- ing from the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, Congress or the pri­vate sec­tor must pass the lit­mus test of solid health­care pol­icy: It needs to be the right care, at the right time, pro­vided in the least re­stric­tive and most cost-ef­fec­tive set­ting. The turf bat­tles must end. The sta­tus quo is un­sus­tain­able and, there­fore, un­ac­cept­able.

Wil­liam “Rick” Abrams Madi­son, Wis.

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