Healthcare Transformation in America Will Not Come and Go on October 1st

by Patrick Riley 24 Sep 2013
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A pass through Sunday talk shows with assembled round-table "discussions" invariably led to the topic of a government shutdown looming with the funding of the affordable care act held hostage. Further reading of the New York Times and Washington Post reaffirmed the insistence that the efforts of Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to force the vote this past Friday in the House to include a "rider' in the federal appropriations bill that included de-fundiing of Obamacare were successful. The bill passed and moved to the Senate for debate. But, a funny thing happened on the way to upper house, if you will, the Republicans did not plan a filibuster to block a sure vote by the Democratic held Senate to turn back legislation that held the now infamous de-fund language. John McCain (R-Arizona) even said that a vote to de-fund Obamacare would be "irrational."

What Washington does not realize is that healthcare in America is transforming depsite the political football in our nation's capitol. Tremendous strides have been made in adopting the Triple Aim as espoused by Dr. Donald Berwick and his colleagues in Cambridge, Mass. Accountable Care Organizations are spreading by the demand of physicians and hospitals to evolve their care models to reimbursement by payers that rewards quality outcomes not increased census in their hopsitals. Telemedicine is finding a remibursement level playing field which is opening the door for more and more Americans to remain in their homes and manage their chronic diseases rather than in a hospital bed costing on average $5,000/day. Healthcare costs per capita are seeing the slowest growth in decades and we are on the cusp of offering the 40 some million Americans who do  not have health insurance the opportunity to shop online, compare plans and premiums, and have access, some for the very first time, to primary care. So, our overall health is steadily improving.

Make no mistake, October 1st will come and go with much pomp and circumstance, one side claiming it is a debacle, the end of western medicine as we know it, and the other side will say thousands who did not have health insurance September 30th, now have access to care. But, October 2nd will come, and the 3rd. Make no mistake, the transformation of American medicine is well underway and regardless of what Washington does or does not do, the momentum will move forward.

You can follow me on Twitter @Patrick_FrostHC or continue to read my blogs on connected health at

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