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The 2012 ABIM Foundation Forum: Choosing Wisely in an Era of Limited Resources
One of the measures of success for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is how many of the 50 million get coverage. The sustainability of the health care system, and the political and economical viability of ACA, depends upon whether health care costs can be brought under control while ensuring quality and safety of care.
At the 2012 ABIM Foundation Forum, 140 health care system leaders, consumers, physician leaders – both in practice and academic medicine, researchers, medical students and residents, payers and purchasers will gather to explore how to accelerate changes to improve delivery of care, with special consideration given to the increasing number of Americans entering the system.
Several innovations in the public and private sector are already underway and should stimulate the conversations at the Forum, including:
- changes in how services are paid for;
- improvement in the coordination and transition of care;
- engaging patients in shared decision-making; and
- capitalization and redesign of primary care.
I recently attended a Health Affairs conference about the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision regarding the legality of the ACA. During his remarks, Bill Kramer, from the Pacific Business Group on Health said, “We need to build on innovations that are already underway. We need to expand, strengthen, accelerate and align innovations.” We don’t need to start from a blank slate; many innovations have proven evidence that they work and should be rapidly implemented across the country.
At the Forum, participants will not only identify potential solutions to the problem of rising costs, they will also identify barriers to implementing change in health care delivery systems including:
- fear of how change will affect individual stakeholders and their respective interests;
- the difficulty in implementing change beyond small pilots to the broader delivery system;
- the challenges of incremental change vs. bold transformation of how care is delivered;
- external opinion, politics and public concerns that can hamper the rate at which important, evidence-based medicine can address waste in the system;
- research that shows clinicians and administrators don’t have the competencies and skills to work in advanced health care systems; and
- patients and consumers are often not involved in the design of changes. When redesign is not patient-centered and without being involved, the public rejects those changes.
I believe it is within our reach to break down these barriers. Can we be bold enough and develop strategies to foster the changes we know need to happen? Will we as a nation join together and choose wisely?
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