AUSTIN, Texas — The United States is in the midst of “the most exciting time in American health care,” said author, consultant and self-described futurist Ian Morrison, who said it may take years to fully implement the nation's health care reform law — but that it should be given a chance to work.
“We are in the midst of a very necessary and important transformation of the health care delivery system,” Mr. Morrison said during the opening keynote speech Sunday at the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management's annual conference.
When the median U.S. family income is $52,000 and the premium cost is $16,000 a year for family health coverage, something has to change, he said.
Mr. Morrison, author of several books including the 2011 “Leading Change in Healthcare: Building a Viable System for Today and Tomorrow,” said many people expected the federal public health insurance exchange to be a “disaster.” And he noted that California with its up-and-running health exchange and Texas with its resistance to the health care reform law are examples of the “two Americas” attitude on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
But he also said the reform law is needed in part because there is “way too much variation” in the way health care is delivered in different areas of the country. “Overall, we need more coordination of care” to reduce errors, failures and readmissions, he told an auditorium of attendees at the ASHRM gathering in Austin, Texas.
It took Arizona 18 years to adopt Medicaid the first time around, and it took Canada 20 years to fully roll out its single-payer system, Mr. Morrison said, illustrating how change occurs at different rates in different areas. “Let's give it a chance,” he said of the health care reform law.
With the growth of public and private health insurance exchanges, “it wouldn't be out of the question to move to an exchange-based model for all,” he said.
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