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Still Looking for The Next Big Thing

Posted by Chip Block on September 27, 2017 9:50 PM EDT
Chip Block photo

Republican efforts to design an effective and affordable replacement for the ACA fails again to gain support.  Apparently, repealing a bad law is harder than thought, and replacing it with a really good alternative is....

...even harder.

So, after seeing the storyline played out all last night and on the front pages of major daily newspapers all over the nation, I ask the simple question, what is the next big thing?  After reading Joe's blog last week about the concept of PHI-Population Health Improvement, I thought that maybe it would be a strange turn of events if an innovation in government-run health insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, that is managed by state agencies working in collaboration with six major carriers in the state of Virginia turns out to be the beginning of the next big thing in healthcare.

Stanger things have happened...but this seems almost too fantastic a dream to be possible.

You know, many years ago the Japanese practically paved the way for a revolution in auto manufacturing, electronics, and steelmaking.  These were all great American industries that simply were collapsing.  Yet, the Japanese were reinventing these old industries, changing their economics forever with a simple idea-kaizen, total quality management-letting the people doing the work decide how the work should be done-and continuously improve every facet of the process.  Quality circles, teams of workers measuring and redesigning work processes lead to better quality, lower costs and more reliable forms of old products reinvented. 

Can the Japanese one day teach us something new in health insurance and health care too? 

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