Newtown, CT – January 25, 2013
20% – 54% – 91,000 – 10% – 7 – 790 – 10,400 – Respectively, the percent of household income used to pay for health care costs; the percent of American families for whom health care is unaffordable; the number of excedent preventable deaths from health care; the percent of dollars flowing from the private and public sectors in value-based payments; the number of States with adequate transparency laws; the number of A-rated hospitals for patient safety; and the number of clinicians recognized for their management of patients with chronic care. Collectively, the HCI3 Dashboard. Yes, we're holding ourselves accountable for the overall quality and affordability of health care in the US, and so should you. The fact that the burden of health care costs on average American households has risen by over 50% in less than 10 years, while income has stagnated should be a concern to all of us. The fact that 91,000 more people (adjusted for population size) die in the US every year from preventable health care related deaths should be a concern to all of us. The fact that only 10% of Medicare dollars are spent using a formula other than pure FFS should be a concern for all of us. The fact that only 7 states have somewhat adequate legislation on price and quality transparency should be a concern to all of us. The fact that after more than a decade of effort only a third of hospitals in the US get an A from Leapfrog on patient safety should be a concern to all of us. The fact that only 10,000 clinicians in the US are Recognized for delivering good quality care for patients with chronic condition should be a concern to all of us.
What this means to you – Folks, in case you haven't noticed, we have a BIG problem. And while Rome is, very literally, burning, some are fiddling around. For example, some hospitals have gotten a little hot under the collar as they've protested Leapfrog's methodology for giving them a poor ranking (maybe if they had spent the past 12 years actually improving patient safety instead of sitting on their hands they would have an A). Some payers are still pretending that all is well and only minor tinkering will get costs under control (can you spell Hum_ _ _ or many others). And then there are the scores of senators, congressional representatives, at both the state and federal level, who are more interested in their next breakfast fundraiser with the agents of the status quo than relieving their constituents of the crushing weight of health care expenses. So, as an organization – a tiny not-for-profit – we've decided to let the Emperor know that not only does he have no clothes (as my good friend Bob Galvin is fond of saying), but that there's only so much land left to burn before we all turn to ash. We are all responsible for this mess. And while, clearly, many profit from it – leeches that suck the very life blood from American families – we know who they are, and we know how to remove them. Alas, for many of us, the spirit is strong, but the flesh is weak. And so we must, every day, look at these numbers, this dashboard, and remind ourselves of our duty, our obligation, to our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, daughters and sons, and never waiver in our resolve to improve what we can, what we must. We won't. Join us.
Francois de Brantes
Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc.