Sebelius: “Health Care Can Learn From Business”
Michigan- U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius states that our current method of providing health care is unsustainable and can learn from some of the advances of the private sector. According to Sebelius, without intervention, Health care costs in the next ten years are expected to increase to an average of $30,000 per employee. It is up to business to assist in providing solutions for affordable health insurance for small business.
One area that can benefit from the business sector’s experience, says Sebelius, is in the implementation of electronic medical records systems. A>?,?_"We’re still at a place in America where only 10 percent of hospitals and 20 percent of physicians’ practices use electronic records,A>?,?A_ she said.
She then asked an audience of business leaders from Detroit. A>?,?_"Think of any other business model… it’s not only inefficient, but also prone to errors.” According to the Secretary, “there’s a huge overhead in transferring paper from person to person, and it’s almost impossible to measure quality outcomes.A>?,?A_
She claims there there is evidence that switching to electronic records does make a difference.
A>?,?_"What we know from systems using electronic records is that it works. It works to lower costs, it works to reduce errors… and every physician I’ve talked to who uses electronic records says they would never go back to a paper file.A>?,?A_
By learning from the successes of the business sector will, in turn, help the business sector. Small businesses cannot afford health care for their employees and those that can end up paying 20% more than large companies.
A>?,?_"Warren Buffett has been quoted as saying that heath care costs are eating America’s competitiveness like a tapeworm,A>?,?A_ she said. A>?,?_"Health inflation well exceeds consumer price inflation, and was continuing at a pace that is simply unsustainable…A>?,?A_