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CloudView blog

Ideas and insights to help health care providers stay informed and profitable in today's challenging health care environment.

A Four-Step Plan to Unbreak Healthcare

by Jonathan Bush, President & CEO

While this year’s presidential campaign has defied all conventional wisdom, one thing I can predict with absolute certainty is that as we move into the general election, the candidates will try to appeal to voters by taking a strong emotional stand on healthcare—and on Obamacare in particular. Unfortunately, it’s just as certain that as the candidates focus narrowly on the universal coverage mandate, they will miss the mark on what’s actually wrong with healthcare. If we limit the national discussion to access, we will fail to come to terms with how fundamentally broken healthcare really is, and what it will take to fix it.

If we limit the national discussion on healthcare to access, we will fail to come to terms with how fundamentally broken healthcare really is, and what it will take to fix it.

In the United States, we spend roughly $1 out of every $5 we earn on healthcare. It’s commonplace for a hospital to invest more than $1 billion on a single software implementation. And for all that we rank last among comparable industrialized nations for quality of care. Patients are dissatisfied, and doctors are burned out—a recent survey found that 59% of them wouldn’t recommend becoming a doctor to their own children.

Healthcare has been broken for some time. It’s been broken by misaligned incentives, by endemic inefficiencies and redundancies, by thousands of well-intentioned regulations and guidelines that have stifled market dynamics, and by our complacency with the status quo. It’s time to unbreak healthcare.

Follow the rest of Jonathan Bush's commentary in the Forbes "Capital Flows" column: Four Ways To Heal Our Broken Healthcare System


Jonathan Bush is the President and CEO of athenahealth.

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Cloudview Blog

Ideas, insights and analysis to help physicians, medical groups and health systems stay informed and profitable in today's challenging health environment.

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