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Producing Real Value In Health Care

Health care leaders pondering value-based organizations and incentives should consider this "Radio Free Dylan" episode where MSNBC commentator Dylan Ratigan interviews Umair Haque, author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business, founder of Bubblegeneration, Director of the Havas Media Lab and blogger at the Harvard Business Review.


The contrast here is between productive wealth versus destructive wealth.  Both count toward Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but only the former really contributes.

Says Umair,
"It’s easier to make money in the short-term through exploitation and the extraction and much more labor intensive with a higher failure rate and a much greater degree of challenge to actually advance and create something that is new and different and differentiates in its creation of value. “So to me, this is a crisis that is about failing to create real value, but it is a crisis of our institutions. And it’s a crisis that is of things like GDP and corporate profits, and the ways in which we measure and conceive of income. And so to really get to grips with this crisis, I think we have to begin by taking a cold hard look at those things,”
A 'cold hard look' at value in health care is likely to be all of that AND decidedly uncomfortable. The short-term thinking. The reimbursement-driven decision making.  The inward, edifice-driven ways we define terms like 'health' and 'success.'

Maybe you don't think of health care as "exploitative" or "extractive?"  What else would you call our willingness to amputate a diabetic's foot while letting the underlying disease process continue apace?

Yeah I know, we're really, finally, truly getting serious about fixing stuff like that.  And though it's been part of every community needs assessment and strategic plan and QI/QA/PI target since, oh, 1965, THIS TIME we mean it.

Or at least we mean it so long as Medicare guarantees us extra payment for meaning it.  Ahhh, the sweet smell of success.

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