Thursday, May 15, 2008

More Mike Leavitt

Quote of the day:
The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums. - G. K. Chesterton

Mike Leavitt Interview with Modern Healthcare

Mike Leavitt's Blog

Mr. Leavitt pre-supposes that our health care system is not an "economic system", and that much of what ails our healthcare system can be "cured" by satisfying the hypothesis that there are" Four Cornerstones "to a health economy.

He elaborates further,   

Leavitt: History will determine whether in fact I had the impact I aspired to. I can tell you my vision of healthcare. I can report to you the progress, and I can also acknowledge that nothing happens in a system as large as healthcare in a short period of time.
I came to this role with a clear vision that the primary challenge was to take a large, rapidly growing, robust sector of the economy and begin to mold it into an economic system. It was then, and continues to be my view, that healthcare has not achieved economic-system status. There’s nothing about our sector that would qualify it as a system. It is not electronically connected. There are no methods of measuring value. People don’t know the cost of it. They don’t know the quality of it and the incentives do not contribute to the system’s success. All of those, I think, are classic definitions of an economic system.
Early in my tenure I laid out a framework. I am grateful to say that that framework appears to be adopted widely. I refer to it as the Four Cornerstones. The Four Cornerstones are: electronic medical records that are interoperable; quality measures that are standardized; cost-of-care measures that are standardized; and then incentives. Significant progress has been made on that large work plan, and I think a movement toward value-driven healthcare has developed, and I believe it’s gaining momentum. Will it in fact play out to meet my aspiration? Only time will tell, but I can say this: No ounce of energy has been wasted in the last three years and four months, nor will it in the remaining 264 days."


It is obvious to any healthcare provider that it is true that our system is large, diverse, byzantine and dysfunctional. Many health pundits other than myself regularly attest to this fact.  These include other well known bloggers in the health care field, such as Richard Reece MD (medinnovation blog) Matt Holt and THCB blog.  Official titles make me nervous.  I like to look at who signs their paychecks to see what  is the ultimate motivation

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