EXCLUSIVE POST – Stephen Schimpff’s just-released The Future of Health-Care Delivery is an excellent book about trends and forecasts in the world of healthcare. This book is for anyone interested in healthcare trends and innovations, and health reform and its challenges. It is written for the common man, but is also sophisticated enough for the healthcare professional.
There are 4 basic parts to The Future of Health-Care Delivery: Vision for the Future, Megatrends in Health-Care Delivery, Cost of Medical Care in America, and Health-Care reform.
The first section, A Vision of the Future of Health-Care, talks about the present situation of healthcare and what needs to change. Dr. Schimpff argues that the healthcare system in the United States basically treats disease and injury while it should be focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. The disruptive changes that must take place in order to shift focus are outlined and discussed. Dr. Schimpff states in his own summary of the book:
“To do this requires fundamental changes in how we pay for medical care, how we fund preventive medicine and public health, how we manage medical information, how we incentivize and pay healthcare providers, how we incentivize ourselves to take better care of our health, and how we assure that everyone has both access to care and the means to pay for it. It will mean reorganized medical care so that the consumer is the decision-maker, just as in any other industry or profession-customer relationship. In short we need a major overhaul of the entire system that realigns incentives and balances fundamental rights with corresponding responsibilities.”
Part II – Megatrends in Health-Care Delivery talks about innovations in healthcare and how they will affect costs, delivery and healthcare reform. Genomics, transplants, vaccines and nanomedicine are just some of the megatrends that Dr Schimpff mentions. He closes the chapter by saying:
“Unfortunately, the delivery of health care has not kept pace with the new advances in medical science and technology. Often the provider is either unaware of the new approaches, has not learned how to use them, or is not cognizant of their benefits. As well, health policy lags behind our medical knowledge and abilities. As the reforms from Washington take place, they will likely not affect the development of our new knowledge to prevent, slow, or cure disease.”
The section on Costs includes excellent discussions on various causes of rising healthcare costs and what we must do to control this cost escalation. Ending with a list of “Key Steps in Reducing Medical Expenditures”, Dr. Schimpff then concludes:
“In essence, this list outlines a set of rights and responsibilities for the patient and the provider. If the system is adjusted so that each has the necessary rights and responsibilities and the incentives to achieve them, the quality of care will rise sub- stantially, our population will be healthier, and the costs will decline considerably.”
The last section of the book addresses reform recommendations and the differing views of the American public. This section ends with what each individual can do to personally take care of his or her health. Dr. Schimpff quotes his previous book, The Future of Medicine, by saying:
“We can put all the advances from science and technology to our benefit—to help prevent illness and to treat it when it occurs. But it is equally important that we do take good care of the body we have been entrusted with. That is our own personal obligation. No doctor or nurse or procedure or pill can do that for us.”
The Future of Health-Care is an important book for everyone. It outlines the issues in today’s healthcare environment and embraces a strong call to action to everyone to do his or her part to help raise the quality of care and reduce costs.