A Role for the Insurers?

Doctors often have a hard time understanding the role that the insurance sector could play in health care delivery reform.

And yet, for better or worse, reform is impossible without addressing the problem of insurance.  In a three part series on the healthcare marketplace, The New Yorker considers the role of insurers.  The first installment by Dr. Rena Xu is entitled  The Health-Care Industry’s Relationship Problems.  Dr. Xu writes:

“In a 2012 feature in this magazine that compared health-care delivery to food delivery at a restaurant chain, Atul Gawande suggested that standardizing the care-delivery process could improve outcomes and reduce costs. But to fix health-care delivery, you must also fix health insurance. This entails a whole host of changes, from aligning financial incentives to improving customer service to making better use of technology. Fundamentally, though, it comes down to redefining the dynamics of the patient-insurer-provider triad: building a stronger relationship between patients and insurers, and turning the reimbursement tug-of-war between insurers and providers into a partnership.”

One wonders if the front line doctor thinks this is possible?

We want to hear your thoughts.

Is single-payer a solution?  We will explore this in a future blog.

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