Ten Principles For Affordable Healthcare Reform

This is the last of a seven part installment about ten principles that can be followed to create a true reform of the American healthcare structure that will be of little relative cost to the taxpayer. The previous “Principles” are readily available on the website and I hope you subscribe to the blogs so you can stay abreast of what is happening with 17 percent of the GDP. A summation will follow next week.

Ten Principles For Affordable Healthcare Reform

9. Healthcare reform cannot occur without tort reform. Anything less is akin to a drunk leaning up against a lamppost for support but insisting it is for illumination.

It is well known that fear of malpractice suits accounts for defensive medicine; e.g., performing tests and procedures and making unnecessary referrals to assure staying out of the court room. We are all familiar with the horror stories about the astronomical costs of malpractice insurance and the ridiculous suits being brought in the name of justice. More insidiously, this situation is responsible for costs estimated to be anywhere between $60 to $200 billion. One can argue the numbers back and forth, but few do not see this as a significant area for improvement. Some, such as I, believe that tort reform will change physician behavior and some believe that tort reform will do little to assuage the physician’s fear of a malpractice suit. I cannot claim to have substantive academic credentials. However, in my very own practice I can honestly say that 25 percent – 30 percent of what I ordered with respect to imaging studies and lab testing was clinically unnecessary but well within the standard of care of the community; all for the sole purpose of avoiding a possible malpractice suit.

Suppose we adopted the British system of malpractice law; if you lose you pay the court costs. In addition to limiting pain and suffering awards, why not give a judge the discretion to move all punitive awards deemed excessive to an arbitration board set up specifically for such situations? Why not give the very same judge that discretion? Limiting attorney fees through an Attorney Czar may not also be a bad idea, while we are at it.

10. We must utilize the single payment system to harness all relevant clinical and behavioral information into a secure and safe database. If we are to have efficiency, patients must give up what they consider their privacy.

We hear much from Washington about computerizing medical records and creating information systems readily available to a treating physician or healthcare provider. There is ample evidence that such a state of affairs would significantly and positively impact the cost of healthcare delivery bending the curve down. It would permit clinical practice analysis, medical variable assessment, complication and infection rates to name a few data flow points. The resulting interpretation would be utilized to create the basis for physician, hospital and provider scoring against acceptable standards. This all sounds nice but it is nothing more than rhetoric unless such systems are integrated into a unified and real network of care giving. Such scoring would be made public and an informed consumer with skin in the game is probably the best means to control medical costs; when it comes form your pocket, you are more selective and not as quick to insist on a test deemed unnecessary. Perhaps you might take better care of yourself and not treat your body as a used car?

The results of this initiative would ultimately reduce and eliminate duplication of testing, imaging and treatment would not only be significantly reduced, but productivity and time lost would be recoverable, adding further to the savings that can come from this vital step. Patient safety would be furthered. Mistakes regarding inappropriate medications, iatrogenically induced anaphylactic shock, identification errors and, in the worst case scenario, the wrong limb or the wrong person being operated upon could be substantially reduced and/or eliminated. A 2005 RAND Report(when we were spending only $1.7T/yr. on healthcare as opposed to $2.7T now) estimated that we could save $77B or more a year from the annual savings in efficiency alone! The health and patient safety issues that could be addressed by such implementation could double the savings, while at the same time reduce illness and prolong life. The same report estimated that the cost of implementing such a project would run to $8B/year over 15 years assuming a 90 percent adoption rate by physician and hospital. Sadly only 17% of physician offices currently utilize electronic medical records (EMRs) and only 31 percent of hospital ERS and 29 percent of hospital outpatient departments currently embrace the benefits of this principle.

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29 Responses to “Ten Principles For Affordable Healthcare Reform”

  1. Hi, I personally visit your blog from engines like google. Apparently you may spend time running your website as well as information a person give really is valuable. A short while ago My partner and i published a piece of writing with a related thoughts and opinions with the posting; if you love, you can even examine it on your own. Hope you can discuss my post at the same time.

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      Send it to me at drbrooks@hotnationtalk.com and I’ll have a look at it!

      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell your friends about the radio site and the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!

      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

  2. Jayne Meyer says:

    Keep working ,great job!

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell your friends about the radio site and the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!

      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

  3. Lyda Miscoe says:

    I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How often do you update your blog?

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      Well don’t be absent. Try the RSS (see below)!

      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell your friends about the radio site and the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!

      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

  4. Great article, thank you for posting this post. Liked it! =D

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      You are welcome.

      Thank you so much for liking the site. I am grateful for your kindness and your support!

      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell more of your friends about the radio site and especially the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!

      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

  5. Maxburn says:

    wicked job guys, I have to agree with the majority of what you’re saying.

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      Wicked good on you mate! Appreciate your taking the time to tell us.

      Thank you so much for liking the site. I am grateful for your kindness and your support!

      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell more of your friends about the radio site and especially the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!

      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

  6. weathervane says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks!

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      I have forwarded this on to the webmaster. We will try and fix this ASAP!

      When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks!

  7. This blog does not render properly on my apple iphone – you may wanna try and fix that

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      We will look into it! As a matter of fact, it is something that we are updating now.
      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell your friends about the radio site and the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!

      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

  8. Madlyn Minks says:

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! “Life is a continual upgrade.” by J. Mark Wallace.

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      Life indeed is a continual upgrade. In order for things to remain the same they must change, no?

      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell your friends about the radio site and the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!

      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

  9. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who had been doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since i have thought it was for him smile Thus allow me to rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! ???Curiosity will conquer fear much more than bravery will.??à by James Stephens.

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      You now owe me a lunch! Glad you gained something from the posts. They are the result of 30 years of thought. The ideas are always evolving!

      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell you friends about the site and the blog site as well and would you do us the honor of subscribing to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!

      We would so appreciate your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation and you also can
      catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM Central on KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

  10. Thanks for the post. Really enjoyed it!

  11. I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Google. You have made my day! Thx again..

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      Glad to have made you happy. Will endeavor to do it once more.
      Thank you so much for linking the site. I am grateful for your kindness and your support!
      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell more of your friends about the radio site and especially the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!
      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.
      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment. Thank you so much for linking the site. I am grateful for your kindness and your support!
      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell more of your friends about the radio site and especially the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!
      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.
      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

  12. Good post. I be trained one thing tougher on different blogs everyday. It could often be stimulating to read through content from different writers and apply a certain amount of something from their store. I’d desire to use some while using content on my blog whether that you do not mind. Natually I’ll supply you with a link in the web blog. Thank you sharing.

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      You may share BUT you must attribute and link, otherwise what you will be doing will not be something that I would agree to.

      That said, thank you so much for linking the site. I am grateful for your kindness and your support!
      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell more of your friends about the radio site and especially the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!
      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.
      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment. Thank you so much for linking the site. I am grateful for your kindness and your support!
      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell more of your friends about the radio site and especially the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!
      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.
      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

  13. I tried to publish a comment earlier, however it hasn’t shown up. I assume your spam filter may possibly be broken? http://www.socializr.com/event/557287227

    • Dr. Brooks says:

      Spam filter is OK. Cannot understand what problem is as I checked it and no issues.

      Thank you so much for linking the site. I am grateful for your kindness and your support!

      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell more of your friends about the radio site and especially the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!
      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.
      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment. Thank you so much for linking the site. I am grateful for your kindness and your support!
      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell more of your friends about the radio site and especially the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!
      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.
      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

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    • Dr. Brooks says:

      As you enjoy the blogs, please tell more of your friends about the radio site and especially the blog site as well. Would you also do us the honor of asking your friends (as well as you) to subscribe to the blogs by clicking the RSS logo on the front page of the website? It would be greatly appreciated and know that I will always endeavor to produce incisive and timely pieces on issues that affect the Nation’s Health!

      We would appreciate you downloading the podcasts if you missed the program and also your liking us on Facebook @ Health of the Nation Remember, you can also can catch our broadcasts live on Sundays at 5PM to 6 PM Central on 570 AM, KLIF by going to the website and clicking on the Streaming bar.

      Thank you again for the time you took to read the blog and to comment.

      Mitchell Brooks, M.D.

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