Obamacare or Not, American Health Care Is About to Be Transformed

Our nation stands at a population health crossroad, exemplified in part by a new law.  Whatever your politics, healthcare delivery in our country will never be the same.  We have a lot of work to do.

We must work hard to reduce the unexplained variation in health care services.  We must reduce disparities in how care is delivered, especially right here in our great city of Philadelphia.  We must improve the coordination of care.  We must improve the quality and safety of the care we deliver and finally, and perhaps most importantly, we must practice more prevention.  We will do all of this by putting the patient at the center of our work.  This will not be easy.

Our system is not designed to deliver health care, rather it is designed to deliver sick care. This will mean a fundamental shift in the model we use to train leaders for the future. The new model will need to focus on the health of the population at large.

We will look for new measures to support this transformation. New research will be needed here as well. In short, a new type of leader who can lead an interprofessional team will be trained for this responsibility. The system we seek to create will focus on being accountable for the outcomes from a population health perspective.

Regardless of the political currents that guide health care over the next several years, the system, and its leaders, will look very different.  We have the opportunity to harness this change to bring better health care to us all.