Don’t Get Distracted By High Drug Costs, It’s Surgery That’s Driving Health Spending, Gawande Says
Dr. Atul Gawande will be heading up the health care initiative formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase that's geared toward starving the "tapeworm on the American economy." While many people's attention is focused on skyrocketing drug prices, Gawande says that is just 10 percent” of total U.S. healthcare spending.
Head Of New U.S. Corporate Health Plan Cites Surgery As Biggest Cost
Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon who was named this week to head the company being formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to trim employee healthcare costs, on Thursday cited surgery as the single biggest U.S. healthcare cost and said there are ways to both cut costs and improve patient care. Speaking in San Diego at the annual meeting of America's Health Insurance Plans, a health insurance trade association, Gawande also said that end-of-life care needs to take into account the wishes of patients, something which he said is now sorely lacking. (Beasley, 6/21)
Atul Gawande Says His Goal Is Better Health Care For 1 Million Workers
“We will come to a place where we can generate scalable solutions that change the practice of medicine,” Gawande said at the America’s Health Insurance Plans conference in San Diego on Thursday, a day after he was appointed chief executive officer of the health-care partnership. “It’s a long road, but it clearly is possible.” The not-for-profit startup aims to improve care and lower costs for the three companies by creating systems that connect complex medical services with patient counseling while reducing waste caused by irrelevant tests or costly treatment that doesn’t improve quality of life, Gawande said, citing his research as a medical journalist. (Gittelsohn, 6/21)
How Can Atul Gawande Help Reinvent Health Care With His New Company?
So far, announcements regarding the new enterprise have been light on policy details, leaving many to wonder how exactly it can succeed where so many others have failed. We asked some of the country’s leading health care experts and others for how they would counsel Gawande as he begins his new adventure. (Chen, 6/21)
Advice For Gawande As He Takes Up Tall Health Care Challenge
“The lack of details makes it a little bit of a shot in the dark,’’ said Dr. Lisa Bielamowicz, cofounder and president of Gist Healthcare, a health care consultancy in Washington, D.C. It “doesn’t point to a lot of meat there yet.’’ So far, little else is known about the venture, other than that it will be based in Boston, and that it has the medical world abuzz because of the big names and big aspirations. (Kowalczyk, 6/21)