Business World – Consumer Driven Care

Business World – WSJ.com

Registration may be required – Holman Jenkins on Consumer Driven Care initiatives.

Looking back, Mr. Huber was right in foreseeing the use of “outcomes” research to standardize care around “best practices.” This continues apace even as enthusiasm for managed care has waned. That Rand’s clinicians found care quality so uneven is evidence both of the problem and the effort to grapple with it. But patients are not being called upon to know whether removing their spleens is the recommended treatment for a headache. If you were thinking that’s what “consumer-directed” health care meant, you can relax.

The sole object is to put price tags back on health care so consumers can see them and respond to them.

Health care is said to be different from other markets, but the difference that really jumps out is that we are unwilling to let people go without these services just because they can’t pay. The solution is equally obvious, if easier said than done efficiently: provide subsidies to those who can’t afford care.

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