Futurist Forecasts More Rain Before Things Clear Up In Healthcare

Author, consultant and futurist Ian Morrison served up the opening keynote at the National Healthcare Innovation Summit on May 14 in Boston with a large dose of wit. But he delivered a somber message concerning the urgent need for innovation in healthcare.

“We have to innovate,” he told the audience. “We don’t have a choice. We have hit the wall.”

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Where Did Our Accountability Go?

Where Did Our Accountability Go?

Obamacare has been “live” for a month now and it’s been grim. Visitors trying to log on to the Obamacare website early Thursday morning saw the same stubborn phrase that has roiled users for weeks: “The system is down at the moment.” It’s been almost a full month since the HealthCare.gov website launched. Technical problems have riddled it despite a series of advance warning signs. And sure, there’s been a chorus of apologies out of Washington, but it may be another month before everything’s running smoothly.

Here’s some “accountability” that’s been taken: Vice President Joe Biden became the highest-ranking administration official to apologize Wednesday for the botched rollout. “We assumed that it was up and ready to run,” he told CNN’s sister network HLN. “But the good news is although it’s not — and we apologize for that — we are confident by the end of November it’ll be, and there’ll still be plenty of time for people to register and get online.” This came after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologized during a 3 1/2-hour congressional grilling. To the frustrated users who have had problems, she said: “You deserve better. I apologize. I’m accountable to you for fixing these problems.”

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The Atlantic Advocates Healthcare Accountability

The Atlantic Advocates Healthcare Accountability

Richard Gunderman wrote a phenomenal essay for The Atlantic earlier this month. In it he explains the importance of accountable health care, claiming “We can be our best only if we bear at least some of the costs of the choices we make.” It is accepted that healthcare costs have within the last few years become the single most common cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S. Of course, the natural reaction is to think of the indebted patients as victims, and hospitals as greedy predators. It’s not like the patients tried to get sick to they could taken on expensive medical care. Meanwhile hospitals retrofitted with marbled lobbies and elaborate amenities are indicative of surplus wealth. So Gunderman begs the question, “Who could feel sympathy for a billion-dollar corporation?”

However, he also points out that if patients are to be forgiven of their debts, we might run out of hospitals to turn to. That’s because a hospital that liberally provides free care will soon find itself overrun with patients, while the other hospitals fail to generate revenues that exceed their costs, and go out of business (this is hypothetical, but still a valid point).

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