The Quality Cure: How Focusing on Health Care Quality Can Save Your Life and Lower Spending Too

The Quality Cure: How Focusing on Health Care Quality Can Save Your Life and Lower Spending Too

The Quality Cure: How Focusing on Health Care Quality Can Save Your Life and Lower Spending Too

The Quality Cure: How Focusing on Health Care Quality Can Save Your Life and Lower Spending Too

Synopsis

In the United States, the soaring cost of health care has become an economic drag and a political flashpoint. Moreover, although the country's medical spending is higher than that of any other nation, health outcomes are no better than elsewhere, and in some cases are even worse. In The Quality Cure, renowned health care economist and former Obama advisor David Cutler offers an accessible and incisive account of the issues and their causes, as well as a road map for the future of health care reform--one that shows how information technology, realigned payment systems, and value-focused organizations together have the power to resolve this seemingly intractable problem and transform the US health care system into one that is affordable, efficient, and effective.

Excerpt

For decades, health care was like the weather—everybody talked about it, but nobody did anything about it. Talk was easy; politicians and analysts of all stripes agreed that we wanted a health care system focused on preventing disease whenever possible and treating it appropriately when necessary. Handholding sessions between people of different backgrounds pledging to work together for these goals were easy to arrange.

In the past half decade, talk has turned into action. In 2006, Massachusetts became the first state to guarantee near-universal coverage, and the federal government followed suit four years later. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 was the farthest-reaching piece of social legislation in half a century.

Alas, action is more controversial than talk. Conservatives universally opposed the Affordable Care Act—not a single Republican voted for it—and liberals nearly universally supported it. The public is just as divided as Congress. About 40 percent of the population likes the Affordable Care Act, virtually the same share opposes it, and the rest are undecided. The . . .

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