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New Study: Aging Baby Boomers Could Overwhelm U.S. Health Care System by 2017, Unless Decisive Action Is Taken
Date:3/5/2008

thor suggests that the threat of lawsuits causes providers to hide problems and engage in unnecessary procedures to avoid potential negative occurrences. "If caregivers document mistakes, they are immediately exposed to litigation," observes Calogero. "Consequently, obfuscation and secrecy become the standard practice when confronted with errors. Quality issues are concealed and knowledge is suppressed, leading to the high likelihood that mistakes will be replicated."

The solution, according to Tefen, is a system of health courts similar in practice to the arbitration system utilized to address other complex issues requiring dispute resolution, such as workers' compensation, tax and patent disputes and vaccine liability, where claims against institutions are adjudicated. Health courts would administer peer reviews and independent analysis of procedural errors - differentiating between human error and negligence - and determining damages proportionate to the mistakes.

Mandate the Use of Best Practices

The current system of medical reimbursement actually rewards providers for delivering more care - not necessarily better care, according to Tefen. "With fairly uniform medical pricing across the industry set by the government and private insurers, providers can optimize revenues only by increasing the number of procedures," explains Calogero. "This perverse system creates immense variability in how care is delivered. It gives hospitals and doctors little incentive to consistently provide treatments that medical research has shown produce the best results."

The solution, according to Tefen, is a mandated system that holds providers accountable for delivering health care using the best known practices and protocols. Such a system would reduce variability and administer compensation directly tied to improving practice patterns and medical outcomes.

Drive Systemic Process Improvement

When compared to other industries, health care is
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SOURCE Tefen USA
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