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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Map to better U.S. health care: centralize, organize

This is an article by Reuters about a group that analyzes different parts of our country's health care system. The company is funded by an advocacy for universal health care, but they did come up with some very good solutions in this article. Primarily they identified the problem that the US spends twice as much as other countries per person on health care. A part of the problem is that there are too many highly specialized doctors who perform expensive procedures and not enough general care practitioners. They concluded that the system needs to change from a fee for service incentive where doctors get paid based on the procedures that they perform to a system where doctors are rewarded for keeping people well. Doctors will perform procedures because they will get paid for them, not necessarily because they are either needed or helpful. Another solution by this panel is that they need to computerize health records. I fully agree and there is too much paperwork involved in the health care industry. Medical records should be seamlessly transfered from doctor to doctor so that they can correctly identify new problems without wasting time diagnosing something that has already been found and treated. It is a good article. Sponsored by Blue Advantage Insurance.

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Experts laid out a health care road map for U.S. presidential candidates on Thursday, recommending more organized care, with an emphasis on overall health as opposed to expensive interventions.

They said it will be essential to ensure that everyone in the United States has health insurance and said the most pragmatic way to achieve this would be a combination of federal, state, employer and private coverage.

And the country needs to train more primary care physicians and move away from expensive, specialized medicine, the panel appointed by the non-profit Commonwealth Fund recommended.

"We do not get good value for our health care dollars," Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, told reporters in a telephone briefing. "The United States falls short when compared to other countries."

Continue reading the article here.

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