Americans Can Have Better Health At Lower Cost. Here’s How - Corwin N. Harper, MHA, FACHE

Inspiration And Insights
3 min readOct 28, 2023
Image from Unsplash by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography

As a staunch advocate for healthcare reform, I firmly believe that the current state of healthcare spending in the U.S. is causing widespread repercussions across our economy. The impact is undeniable, from ballooning federal budget deficits to the financial strain on families. I recently read from Forbes titled Americans Can Have Better Health At Lower Cost by Arthur L. Kellermann and he talks about solutions put forth by various organizations that emphasize paying for value, strengthening primary care, improving efficiency, supporting cost-reducing technologies, and prioritizing public health measures to curb the unsustainable healthcare cost burden in the country.

“Medical debt is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S.”

Many expert groups, including the National Academy of Medicine, the Health Affairs Council on Health Care Spending and Value, RAND Corporation, and the Bipartisan Policy Center, have presented comprehensive strategies to address this challenge.

The article points out five key recommendations to utilize your healthcare wisely:

1. Shift to Value-Based Payments: Physicians wield significant influence over healthcare spending, with the fee-for-service model often encouraging overuse. Value-based payments, however, promote cost-effective, evidence-based care and hold healthcare organizations accountable for their patients’ outcomes.

2. Reinforce Primary Care: Strengthening primary care is essential for better population health and cost reduction. Removing co-payments for primary care visits, increasing provider pay, expanding training programs, and enabling primary care physicians to delegate tasks to their teams can significantly enhance access to primary care.

“Access to primary care allows health problems to be diagnosed early, when they are easier to treat.”

3. Enhance Efficiency: Simplify the complex landscape of health insurance plans with standardized essential benefits and claims forms. Revamp electronic medical records to improve accessibility and interoperability, making healthcare more streamlined and cost-effective.

4. Support Cost-Reducing Technologies: Encourage the development of high-value, cost-lowering healthcare technology through incentives. Collaboration among federal agencies can further promote the growth of cost-effective medical solutions.

5. Prioritize Public Health: Public health initiatives have played a pivotal role in increasing life expectancy. To curb soaring healthcare costs, there must be a focus on disease prevention, health management, and vaccination promotion. By reducing chronic disease development, we can both save lives and cut down healthcare expenditures.

“Medical disinformation is leading a growing number of Americans to reject immunizations and other tools of public health.”

The urgency of acting on these recommendations is paramount. The burden of healthcare costs in the U.S. has become unsustainable, as evidenced by the increase in Medicare Part B premiums and employer-sponsored health insurance premiums. The Congressional Budget Office has long recognized that healthcare cost escalation poses a significant fiscal challenge, and it remains a critical factor in our nation’s fiscal future.

“The healthcare cost burden in the U.S. has become unsustainable.”

According to the article, healthcare costs in the U.S. have surged relentlessly in recent years, from $2.7 trillion in 2011 to over $4.6 trillion today. To avert a catastrophic default on our national debt and ensure the nation’s fiscal and health well-being, we cannot afford to ignore this relentless growth in healthcare spending. Addressing this issue is the most reliable path to restoring our nation’s financial health and enhancing the well-being of all Americans.

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About Corwin: An empathetic and authentic leader who champions improving humanity through healthcare, Corwin Harper has contributed over 35 years of experience in various areas, from healthcare systems to fiduciary and governance to economic development. Corwin’s strengths include analyzing and assessing situations to create multi-year strategy plans, and he has the vision to identify new business opportunities where others fail to see the potential. Through his innovation as a transformational healthcare leader, he aims at creating a more human world with a strong focus on social and educational equity to improve humanity for all.