Thursday, February 25, 2010

Profit or value from healthcare in the USA?

Dear Colleagues

I was interested to hear a thoughtful MD describe the health care sector as having three segments (1) the providers (2) the patients; and (3) the industry. The observation was made in the context of remaking the healthcare sector in Haiti, and was very positive.

Some hours later I heard the US health sector described in similar terms ... except the reference was extremely negative. The negative was simply that a critical stakeholder in the US are the owners of the industry, whether it is the for profit big pharma or the for profit big insurance that ... according to this observer ... had little or no interest in the other stakeholders and especially patients. If there were more profits ... that was good ... for these stakeholders, and that is all that matters.

This model of metrics is one of the reasons why the CA methodology is needed. Profit is good ... but only when the profit is also contributing to social value. Profit that is merely a consumption of value is highly undesirable for society ... and those that earn profit in this manner should be held accountable in every way possible.

In the healthcare sector there is a huge value proposition ... and within this there is plenty of room for profit ... but the metrics needed to understand this are not currently easily accessible, even if they are available at all. This can and should be changed as soon as possible.

Peter Burgess

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