Paul Levy, the former CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, put up a post last week saying that the Triple Aim – improving population health, improving the experience of care, improving per capita healthcare cost – was poorly aimed, and totally missing its “make healthcare better” mark. It’s a chewy, tasty read, with an even chewier and tastier thread of comments.
The money shot for me: “the real battles over power, money, customer choice, and cost” are indeed still happening far, far away from the point of care, and compromising the patient’s experience, the community’s health, and the ability to control spiraling costs. Of the three legs of the Triple Aim stool, the cost piece is the biggest barrier to its implementation.
Can you think of any US industry that would willingly transform itself outta $1T+ in revenue per year?
That’s the ultimate economic outcome of the Triple Aim, and I can hear and feel the resistance of the medical-industrial complex to ending their arms race toward “market dominance” via daVinci systems, proton beam facilities, soaring marble lobbies, and equally soaring temples full of hospital beds … when what we really need is hundreds (thousands?) of small clinics across the landscape helping people get or stay healthy via great primary care, not tertiary hospital resurrections.
Payers and big health systems, EHR vendors, policy wonks all negotiate over the patient’s supine form (and the heads of most clinicians, to be fair) to determine how to divide up the $3T+/year their arms race serves up.
Do we have a prayer of Triple Aim in this landscape? I dunno, but I’m fighting a ground war alongside my patient-side band of guerilla compatriots to see if we can drive some revolution from the grassroots. ‘Cause the folks in suits ain’t moving fast enough toward change.