Friday, May 28, 2010

Harvard Business School Faculty Comment On Health Reform

Following Congress’ passage of historic health care reform legislation, three Harvard professors who have long been involved in health care issues, presented their views on the measure and what it bodes for the future on the Harvard Business School website.

Richard M. .J. Bohmer, contends that it will lead to further debate about managing the delivery of health care. Mr. Bohmer stated that the insurance aspects are but one concern in the overall health care problem, which also includes treatment concepts, disease management innovations, personnel restructuring, and information technology. “We need to make a distinction between debating how it will be paid for and what the ‘it’ is that will be paid for,” observed Mr. Bohmer.

Bill George regards the bill as a “momentous step” toward providing insurance coverage, but believes that there needs to be focus on the attendant issues of cost, quality, and lifestyle. Unless these other three challenges are addressed, Mr. George predicts that the U.S. will continue to have a dysfunctional system with unaffordable costs.

Regina E. Herzlinger, whom Money called the “godmother of consumer-driven health care,” believes the bill will result in spending that will damage the U.S. economy, and that its approach will lead to a government-controlled health care system. While she is encouraged by the move toward a universal health care model, she fears that the cost control mechanisms are ineffective, relying on the public health insurance marketplace or “exchanges,” which ctually involve only shifting costs, through deficits, cutbacks, and unfunded liabilities.

For a comprehensive analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the full text of the law and additional information on health reform and other developments in employee benefits, just click here.


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