I’ve been saying it for years now, it’s the theme of Healthcare Beyond Reform: Doing It Right For Half The Cost — and now it’s even hit the editorial pages of the NY Times: A June 2 editorial, “Treating You Better For Less,” trumpets the “good news” about a “grass-roots movement” using “already proven techniques” that “could transform the entire system in ways that will benefit all Americans.”
“It is a measure of how dysfunctional the system has become,” says the editorial, “that these successful experiments — based on medical sense, sound research and efficiencies — seem so revolutionary.” It goes on to describe several of the kinds of new ventures in efficiency and effectiveness that make up the core of Healthcare Beyond Reform, in different healthcare systems and health insurers across the country.
The news here is not that these things are happening, or that they are so widespread that they can be called a “grass-roots movement.” The real news here is that the movement has gained such momentum that big, mainstream media organizations outside of healthcare, well beyond the policy wonk orbit, have begun to surface what may turn out to be one of the the biggest stories of our times: The largest sector of our economy turning inside out, like some movie transformer, on the way toward providing all of us with far better care for far less than we could possibly imagine. Better healthcare for half the cost.
There’s a lot to it. This revolution may not be televised because of its very complexity, and the vast, subterranean, even tectonic nature of the structural economic changes causing the surface changes we are seeing. Nor will the movement stop if the ACA reform act is thrown out or gutted by the Supreme Court, or repealed by a new Congress and President, because the movement was not started by the reform law. It was generated by demographics and economics, the sheer unworkability of our current system, and the data power that allows us finally to see into it, to try new things, and measure their results.