The latest round of junkets for hospital administrators, management consultants, is regarding ACOs or Accountable Care Organizations. Like managed care which became renamed “mangled care” ACOs will earn a new moniker soon as well. I will rename it, “Anonymous Care Organization” for want of a better term.
Who is going to run this ‘entity’ designed for who knows what? Some say it will control cost, improve outcomes, and balance the federal budget. Some say our country will not survive without reducing the percentage of GDP utilized by Health Care. Health care expenditures have increasedd to somewhere between 16.0% and 17.9% of GDP according to Market Watch, Time Magazine, and the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) and other bean counters. How about fixing health care expense and increasing GDP? Much of our problem revolves around poor productivity, lack of manufacturing capacity, and lack of diversity in the U.S. economy.
Many features of the robust pluralistic features of American economics have gone by the wayside, the milkman, the paperboy, the corner grocery store, bakery, delicatessen, gardener’s (in the form of after-school teenagers, handymen, bookeepers, #2 pencils, yellow legal pads, Oldsmobile's, Pontiacs, vinyl records, tubes in radios. Much of our workforce has been moved offshore, outsourced and/or replaced by computers, software, automation, and technology resulting in fewer productive jobs, and increased unemployment requiring increased entitlement programs and burgeoning governmental morass.
The present situation in health care is not the fault nor cause of economic stress in America. This dysfunctional and chaotic representation by the body-politic of America diverts us all from finding the ‘cure’.