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Medicare Changes on the Way – Giving Healthcare a Voice

October 10, 2011

By Fauzia Khan, MD, FCAP

A recent New England Journal of Medicine article, “How Much Savings Can We Wring from Medicare?,”  underscores the significance of the changes that are coming for health care. As members of the medical community, we really need to take a long hard look at the way we practice medicine. The waste and redundancy, as well as defensive medicine, needs to be cut way down.

The “more is better” paradigm is both a threat to efficiency and a threat to quality.  I see firsthand that unnecessary care can lead to bad quality care because there are inconsistencies   — yet few consumers understand that this is a problem affecting them.

Today’s healthcare crisis is a great opportunity to explore different payment models such as ACOs. Although this concept may fall short of an ideal system, it provides a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the medical community, the consumers, the private payers, and the government are finding it difficult to communicate objectively. A sure voice to explain the issues and various solutions is what the public needs.

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