The New York Times today cites an Institute of Medicine study with more bad news about waste in the health care system: an estimated 30% of spending was wasted in some way in 2009. That’s about $750 billion. In another study cited, three-quarters of hospitalized patients were unsure who was actually “in charge of their care.” Both are rather astonishing, if not surprising, figures.
“The panel concluded that there is no single answer for reducing inefficiencies. Instead, it said that every participant in the system — doctors, hospitals, big integrated health care systems, insurance companies and government agencies — had to expand ways to provide usable information when doctors and patients decide on treatments, engage patients in clinical decisions, and adopt technology-assisted practices that have improved reliability and cut costs in other industries.”
Pardon us for pointing out that there could be no clearer call for renegotiation up, down, and across the system. Leadership, negotiation, and conflict resolution are indeed the missing specialties essential for fixing what ails our health care system and the people it serves. We’re glad we wrote a practical book about it.