Plan Challenges Policy-makers, Physicians, Patients and Payors To Become Engaged and Accountable
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In an address today at the National Press Club, Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) Chairman and CEO, David B. Snow Jr. unveiled a pragmatic blueprint for fixing America's inefficient health care system that, for the first time, is designed to address the root causes of the problem. Unifying the strengths of both the public and private sectors, Snow's plan is designed to reduce the nation's health care expenses by as much as $1 trillion - almost 50 percent of current expenditures - while extending affordable, high-quality care to more Americans.
Noting that the United States spends twice as much per capita on health care as most other developed nations - but achieves no better clinical outcomes - Snow's plan addresses the technological, regulatory, clinical and societal reforms needed to create a sustainable system that enables affordable access. From fixing Medicare to trimming America's collective waistline, Snow advocates tough choices to tackle controversial issues - challenging government, the private sector, patients, physicians and payors to become actively engaged and accountable for improving both clinical and financial outcomes.
Snow's phased five-point plan represents an integrated approach to health care reform that includes progressive building blocks that, over time, interconnect to achieve as much as $1 trillion in health care savings.
The five tenets of Snow's program include: wiring health care; eliminating medical liability through protocol-driven medicine; addressing Medicare's financial fundamentals; increasing compliance, while reducing errors; and promoting healthy lifestyles.
"Wiring health care is the key that drives accountability and unlocks a new era of protocol-based medical practice. With established protocols in place, medicine then transforms from an art into a science -- where quality is validated, errors are averted, compliance improves and liability, along with the need to practice defensive medicine, is significantly reduced," said Snow, who manages one of the nation's largest health care companies. "These technological and process-driven advances, combined with a national imperative around healthy lifestyles and bold policy leadership will permanently alter the slope of health care cost increases, and help to permanently address the financial fundamentals of Medicare."
Snow added: "There is no greater domestic challenge facing our country and the new administration. The public and private sectors must work together now to fix the buckling financial foundation of America's health care system. Otherwise, as a society we may be left with the unacceptable outcome of a system that, under the federal government, eliminates choice, rations care and extinguishes innovation."
Snow's plan recognizes and respects the appropriate roles of the public and private sectors, with the government promulgating policy and regulating compliance with those policies, while allowing the private sector to operate and innovate.
"Despite the urgent need, experience shows that health care reform must be evolutionary, not revolutionary, to be accepted by the American public," Snow said. "We must agree upon an end-to-end strategic road map now, so that we can begin the journey to reform in earnest. Our commitment to this road map needs to persevere over an extended period of time to realize this opportunity. The payoff for doing this right is huge; the penalty for failure will burden generations to come."
Snow warned that addressing the root-causes of the health care cost conundrum requires transcending political lines as currently drawn and requires committing to a policy with a longer-term view - along with the political will and bold leadership that would "fundamentally transform our social, behavioral and cultural approaches to health care."
"When our political discourse is limited to 'who pays the bill' instead of 'the bill is too high,' and fails to address root-cause problems, that isn't health care reform. In the end, we all pay the bill - and it's currently two times higher than it should be, could be and, following this plan, would be," Snow said.
For more than 30 years, Snow has created and implemented solutions in for-profit and not-for-profit healthcare organizations, including hospitals and health plans - improving clinical quality and managing the rising cost of health care for millions. In his current role, Snow leads one of the nation's leading pharmacy benefit managers - a Fortune 100 company with more than $44 billion in revenue in 2007.
Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is the nation's leading pharmacy benefit manager based on its 2007 total net revenues of more than $44 billion. Medco's prescription drug benefit programs, covering approximately one-in-five Americans, are designed to drive down the cost of pharmacy health care for private and public employers, health plans, labor unions and government agencies of all sizes, for individuals served by the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program, and those served by Medco's specialty pharmacy segment, Accredo Health Group. Medco, the world's most advanced pharmacy(R), is positioned to serve the unique needs of patients with chronic and complex conditions through its Medco Therapeutic Resource Centers(R), including its enhanced diabetes pharmacy care practice through the Liberty acquisition. Medco is the highest-ranked independent pharmacy benefit manager on the 2008 Fortune 100 list. On the Net: http://www.medco.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the risks and uncertainties that affect our business, particularly those mentioned in the Risk Factors section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
|SOURCE Medco Health Solutions Inc.|
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