Controlling Healthcare Costs by Focusing on the Neediest Patients
1% of patients account for 30% of the city’s medical costs
Most of these costs are unnecessary, like the woman with a headache who kept going back to the emergency room because she could not bear the pain, and would get a new MRI scan every time.
That is the United States, would it matter at all here in India?
The same 1% of patients would hardly matter at all to the Indian Government, because the Government does not pay for their treatment. All their treatment costs are out-of-pocket.
So, they and their families would try hard to raise the money, would fall into a debt trap, family relationships may break down, their homes would be taken over by loan sharks, their children would starve and drop out of school, and then we shall be angry about the rising crime rate!
A few of us would weep over an occasional Suma and then… isn’t Suma nearly forgotten already?
Please read what Gawande has to say in “The Hot Spotters” at The New Yorker website.
It will do us good to read about heroes like Jeffrey Brenner and about several ordinarily-insignificant, but very real people like Vibha and Jayshree.
- Webchat: ‘Ask the Author’ with Gawande and New Yorker readers
- News: A better cure for what ails New Jersey
- Report: Innovating healthcare in America’s poorest city
- PDF: Download a PDF of Gawande’s article here… [from Iora Health]