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"The Real Reason Health Care Is Bankrupting America" - Kenneth L. Davis, MD

  • CNBC News
  • New York, NY
  • (January 11, 2018)

The United States spends far more on health care than any other nation on the globe: $10, 348 per person, which amounts to nearly 18 percent of gross domestic product. That is eight percentage points above the average of the industrialized member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Medicare has been growing at more than twice the rate of inflation and is forecast to accelerate as baby boomers age, while the cost of Medicaid has grown as the Affordable Care Act has brought Medicaid coverage to more people. Kenneth Davis, MD, president and CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System says it is “little wonder that congressional leaders are looking to chop Medicare and Medicaid spending, which have long been favorite targets of budget-cutters. As part of its effort to replace the ACA, Congress last year tried to eliminate full dollar-for-dollar sharing of Medicaid costs between the federal and state governments and replace it with finite block grants to the states.” He said instead of volume, “we need to incentivize value by rewarding better health outcomes resulting from efficiently delivered, proactive care that keeps patients healthy.” The Hospital at Home concept, which Mount Sinai Health System began in 2014, allows patients to be monitored closely from their own bedrooms and receive daily visits from a doctor or nurse practitioner, as well as home nursing care, lab services and medical equipment in their home, which is far less costly than remaining in the hospital. We need a payment system that stops rewarding health-care providers as if they are factories and, instead, one that will be beneficial for providers, payers and patients. Rather than indiscriminate cost cutting, value-based care is the smart way to bend the health-care cost curve. It will improve patient health, as well as the nation's fiscal and economic health, Dr. Davis added.

- Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President, CEO, Mount Sinai Health System

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