Posted 9/21/14 on the NBCH Newsletter Blog
In today’s New York Times, Elizabeth Rosenthal describes the growing and egregious over-treatment and overpricing practices by physicians and health systems, abetted by health plans.
The excesses detailed in this article are at the core of our national health care quality and cost crisis. The best solutions are collaborative, considered actions by group purchasers, potentially the most empowered of health care’s stakeholders.
When predatory anecdotes like these come to light, the benefits managers – or better yet, the CFOs – of local employers, unions and governmental agencies should immediately call the health plan and demand that the health systems, physicians and other providers involved be removed from the provider panel. (Small communities held hostage by a few dominant health care players are a separate topic that I’ll address soon.)
As Tom Emerick, former VP Human Resources at Walmart has stated repeatedly, health care will not improve until purchasers demand different behaviors from health care vendors, focusing business on organizations that facilitate high quality care at reasonable cost, and publicly avoiding those that do not.
This is a serious issue that demands a coordinated response. It is at the top of NBCH’s agenda. Join with us on this.
Brian Klepper is the CEO of the National Business Coalition on Health.