January 26, 2017

BETTER HEALTH REQUIRES LESS CHOICE:

Toby Cosgrove on VA reform, Obamacare's hits and misses (David Nather, 1/26/17, Axios)

On why he supports more private treatment options outside the VA:

Not enough VA hospitals to go around. Only three in Ohio -- in Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. "All of those are a long ways from Toledo ... You just can't really cover the state of Ohio with three hospitals."

VA electronic medical records were developed 20 years ago. They're way behind the times now and don't communicate well with other systems. "They need to have an electronic medical record that is 21st century." [...]

On the Affordable Care Act's hits and misses:

"We needed to do something that moved us from paying for volume to paying for value. I think that was something that was really pushed hard by the ACA."

Quality metrics have improved "gradually," including reduced hospital readmissions. And, of course, 22 million people gained coverage.

Health care inflation came down, but is now rising again. So the law's effectiveness in controlling costs is "probably open for discussion."

But the law "really did not do very much" to push people to stay healthy -- partly because it's politically unpopular to tax cigarettes, and the powerful sugar lobby will always fight efforts to reduce obesity.

Posted by at January 26, 2017 6:39 AM

  

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