Accountable Care Organization(ACOs) are not going to decrease the waste in the healthcare system. Waste occurs because of:
1. Excessive administrative service expenses by the healthcare insurance industry which provides administrative services for private insurance and Medicare and Medicaid. A committee is writing the final regulations covering Medical Loss ratios for President Obama’s healthcare reform act. The preliminary regulations are far from curative
2. A lack of patient responsibility in preventing the onset of chronic disease. The obesity epidemic is an example.
3. A lack of patient education in preventing the onset of complications of chronic diseases. Effective systems of chronic disease self- management must be developed.
4. The use of defensive medicine resulting in overtesting. Defensive medicine can be reduced by effective malpractice reform.
A system of incentives for patients and physicians must be developed to solve these causes of waste. A system of payments must also be developed to marginalize the excessive waste by the healthcare insurance industry. Patients must have control of their own healthcare dollars.
By developing ACOs, President Obama is increasing the complexity of the healthcare system. It will result in commoditizing medical care, provide incentives for rationing medical care, decrease access to care, and opening up avenues for future abuse.
The list of barriers to ACOs’ success is long and difficult to follow. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*