What Makes Singapore’s Health Care So Cheap?

Aerial_View_of_Singapore

Singapore’s health care system is distinctive, and not just because of the improbability that it’s admired by many on both the American left and the right.

It spends less of its economy on health care than any country that was included in our recent tournament on best health systems in the world.

And it spends far, far less than the United States does. Yet it achieves some outcomes Americans would find remarkable. Life expectancy at birth is two to three years longer than in Britain or the United States. Its infant mortality rate is among the lowest in the world, about half that of the United States, and just over half that of Britain, Australia, Canada and France.
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HealthCare’s Technological Revolution Is Here!

blogHealthcare in the USA and across the globe is in crisis! We are plagued with erratic quality, unequal access, and sky-high costs. The good news is that we are on the cusp of radical change – we’ re in the midst of an avalanche of converging technologies in medical science, software, hardware and communications and this perfect storm is transforming medicine and healthcare in ways that sounded like science fiction a mere decade ago. This is giving medical professionals, patients and key industry players the unprecedented ability to make appropriate healthcare more accessible, affordable and humanistic.

Patients, physicians, pharma and regulators would do well to face these profound changes, as their lives and their industries will not look the same after they have transpired.
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MEDICAID: Putting It Into Perspective

61761844 - medicaid word cloud concept

Medicaid is in the news every day. People, politicians, policymakers, providers, and payers are expressing points of view ranging from kill it to expand it. Unfortunately, most people are not well informed about what Medicaid is. I would like to help on the informing part of the issue by describing what it is, how it works, who qualifies, how much it costs, and some policy choices I see. This is a very complex subject, so I will lay it out in bite-sized posts. Consider this first post as a backgrounder. If you want to dig deep into the subject, I recommend visiting The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
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Cost Eats Revenue for Breakfast In the New Value-Based Care (VBC) Payment Landscape

magnifying-glass-1001506_640The payment landscape is shifting dramatically in the US health care industry and this has serious implications for the survival of providers. With the volume-to-value transformation, traditional fee-for-service payments are being replaced with a financial incentive framework that rewards for improved quality and outcomes. Although this impacts only Medicare payments today, it lays the groundwork and provides strong incentives for other payers to move in the same direction, thus potentially disrupting the health care system at all levels.

Ultimately, value-based payments transform traditional business models by putting significant revenue– and risk– at stake. Building the outcomes-based financial models to maximize value-based care (VBC) reimbursement pathways will be fundamental to sustainable growth in the future.
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A New Prescription for Healthcare: Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

health-2082630_1280We are living through what is arguably the most challenging time for the health care industry. Globally, health care appears to be on a collision course with patient needs and economic reality. No one is happy with the current system, and the combination of rising costs, poor access, inequitable care, and diminishing quality and safety has created anxiety and frustration for all. Decades of interventions have failed to improve the situation; if anything, things have become worse. Current approaches tend to focus on a single issue or problem (the price of drugs, rising numbers without medical insurance, provider incentives to over treat), but an overarching solution has remained elusive.
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Trumping Obamacare . . . How a Market Based Approach to Universal Healthcare can Work

US Medical care illustrated by flag and stethoscope

There is no issue more important to the future of America than it’s long-term fiscal sustainability. And the long-term fiscal sustainability of the United States has been placed in jeopardy primarily by the structure and expense of America’s healthcare system. According to the Congressional Budget Office, nearly the entirety of the growth in federal spending as a share of the economy—excluding interest—can be explained by government health programs: Medicare, Medicaid, the Medicaid-related Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Affordable Care Act. In addition, one of the principal economic challenges faced by middle- and lower-income Americans is the expense and instability of American health insurance.
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Trumping Obamacare…Decoding the American Health Care Act

American Health Care Act

After a seven year wait to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, the GOP’s much-anticipated replacement collectively called the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was unveiled this week. Amidst a revolt from the left and right, doctors, hospitals and insurers, the plan cleared its first hurdle at 4.30 am on Thursday- approval by the House Ways and Means Committee and The House Energy and Commerce Committee after 18 and 27 of hours of debate respectively. It now has to be approved by a full House and the Senate…the former likely (although not guaranteed) and the latter impossible without bipartisan support.
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Fixing the Drug Pricing Problem . . . lessons from around the world

fixing the drug pricing problem

The one thing that all Americans agree on – politicians included- is that prescription drug prices are on an unsustainable trajectory. Americans pay, by far, the highest prices for prescription drugs in the entire world. On average, Americans pay $1,100 per year for their drugs — $300 more than Germans or Canadians do. In addition, total US drug spending has more than doubled in the past 15 years, from $121.2 billion in 2000 up to nearly $374 billion in 2014, squeezing both payers and insurers alike……all of this while the largest pharmaceutical companies are cumulatively earning $80-$90 billion per year in profits at higher margins than other industries.
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What the Next President Should Do: Healthcare Common Sense

The 2016 election is over, and a top priority for the new administration and Congress is healthcare. The candidates discussed little substance about healthcare during the campaigns, despite the fact it is approaching 20% of our economy and touches every American. You could say the problems in healthcare have been caused by action by one party and inaction by another party. You could say Republicans want this and Democrats want that, but I don’t think labeling should be the focus. The problem is Congress (both parties) are tied to special interest groups. Insurers, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and the plaintiff’s bar, along with Congress created our unaffordable healthcare system.
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What the Next President Should Do About Healthcare!

Dr. John Patrick has the following to say to our next president:

The 2016 political scene is unfolding. In less than a year, American citizens will decide who our next President will be. So far, in the debates, town halls, and speeches, little substance has been discussed about healthcare, despite the fact it is approaching 20% of our economy and touches every American. You could say the problems in healthcare have been caused by action by one party and inaction by another party. You could say Republicans want this and Democrats want that, but I don’t think labeling should be the focus.
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