by George Halvorson, Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente
This country cannot afford to have healthcare costs continuing to increase at a level that destroys both state and federal budgets and makes U.S. businesses less competitive in world markets.
We also can’t continue to have healthcare costs so high that they consume — on average — nearly $20,000 per year from each American family. That is unaffordable for families.
We need costs to go down, and we need care to get better.
Can that be done? Yes — if we apply the 3 R’s of healthcare cost mitigation.
We need to Reengineer care. We need to Repackage care, and we need to Re-price care.
Reengineered care can be better and more affordable.
The key to reengineering care will be computer support for caregivers and care teams. We need a next generation of care tools for both caregivers and patients — and if we build these tools and use them well, we can succeed at improving care quality, care safety, and care affordability.
We also need to repackage care.
We need to buy care by the package and not just by the piece, and we need the right set of tools to support the packages of care.
When we sell re-engineered care by the package, we can re-price care, and consumers will benefit financially from the new low prices.
So we need a 3-R based industrial revolution for healthcare — supported by the computer. That’s the challenge for the people who were at HIMSS12. Let’s build the right tools and use them well.
We can’t afford not to.
Kaiser Permanente is a 2011 HIMSS Organizational Davies Award winner.