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Transforming healthcare through patient empowerment.

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  • 1American College of Medical Informatics, USA.


The United States faces tremendous challenges with its healthcare system. By any standard, it is expensive and performs poorly in most measures of health and thus, is in great need of reform. But how do we reform things without making the situation worse? Some of the more fundamental problems arise from the combination of a fee-for-service payment system for physicians with insurance-based financing care. This combination results in conflicts among the interests of patients, physicians and payers. This paper examines this issue from a decision analytic perspective, starting with a definition of the patient-centered view, and an assessment of the practicality of controlling costs by making healthcare more patient-centric. It then illustrates how fee-for-service models corrupt decision-making and other solutions designed to reign in the abuses of the fee-for-service model and also negatively impacts the quality of decision making for individual patients. Whatever the strategies for health reform, the degree of patient-centeredness of care is a benchmark that allows policy makers to understand how far they have had to deviate from optimal to achieve the desired ends of cost control.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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