Consumer Driven Health Care buy this book and read it!!
Who would have ever imagined in 1957 that health care delivery in America could be as hopelessly snarled as
it Is today? In those good old days of yesteryear, there existed a health delivery system that actually worked.
Physicians were paid [or not], hospitals wrote off 11% bad debt for uncollectables and the Indigent were either
cared for free or treated in teaching centers.
Fast forward to today..60% of the health care dollar is absorbed in indirect costs. Medical care has
become a right; personal accountability has disappeared. Our health care system is totally dysfunctional. Our
esteemed classmate has coauthored an incisive discussion concerning this diemma and has an impassioned
plan for its resolution. The book "Consumer Driven Health Care" is meticulously researched, The facts and
figures are clearly presented and easily understood.
Doctor Tom Williams only adds luster to our illustrious class of '57. While a surgical resident, he under took
the additional arduous chore of obtaining a PhD. in industrial engineering.Tom's career spans the evolution of
open heart surgery in which he was an active participant His many trips on medical missions throughout the
globe were made to aid developing nations. His continuing interest in consumer-centric issues remains
Decade after decade, an unrelenting series of patchwork efforts have been made to fix a system slowly
disintegrating. A cycle of blame was created. Physicians blamed lawyers who In turn blamed insurance
companies who blamed hospitals who blamed third party payers and the beat goes on. No one has had the
courage to break this cycle, because everyone but the consumer Is profiting by it. Clearly there will not be a
political solution when one in every six gainfully employed person in Washington D.C. is a lobbyist.
Reading Tom's book, one is left the prospect of a two trillion dollar crisis; he delves into well reasoned detail
of how that will happen. He also offers a solution to the problem. There is an Utopian bent involved here.
His thesis depends upon people taking responsibility for their care. Our lifestytes as well as the way we
finance our care must change. The effect may not be evident immediately which would mean sellng the idea
to masses of patients. We, the consumer, must dictate how our medical dollar is spent. It cannot be left up to a
faceless profit driven third party payer to tell us what they will cover and who may deliver treatment.
The paradigm is for the patient to direct his own medical care. By ridding first dollar payment [as is the
current method of reimbursement], he proposes a high deductible insurance policy so as to reduce the
frivolous trips to the doctor. When genuine need for medical intervention occurs, the ensuing costs will be
provided for by a health savings account. These will be set up by the individual himself as a tax-deductible
deposit, tax-deferred growth, tax-free on qualified expenditure health savings account.
Kudos to Tom for taking such interest in this seemingly inextricable morass. He not only illustrates the
problem, but offers a sensible approach to its resolution.
Ed Byers M.D.