4 'radical changes' making healthcare more accessible, less expensive

Initiatives launched by entrepreneurs are solving the challenges of healthcare and completely transforming care delivery in the process, said John C. Goodman, PhD, during a keynote address Oct. 9 at the opening of the Becker's Hospital Review Health IT + RCM conference in Chicago.

Those challenges, according to Dr. Goodman, president and CEO of the Dallas-based Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, stem largely from "non-market" factors — that is, from long waits and other barriers to access, rather than from high costs.

"If we would just allow low-income people in this country to obtain healthcare the way they obtain food, we would greatly expand access to and the quality of care for low-income families overnight. If we want to solve our problems, we have to liberate the patient, and then we have to liberate the doctor," he said, later adding, "We have to free the doctors, and then we have to free the entrepreneurs."

Doing so will require transformational change. Dr. Goodman named four of these "radical changes" that are already being introduced:

  • Personal, portable health insurance
  • Telemedicine and virtual care
  • Direct primary care medicine
  • App-based house calls

All of these initiatives drive toward a goal of eliminating unnecessary emergency room, physician office and clinic visits. "We can do so much in the home if we took advantage of telehealth technology and the apps that go with it," Dr. Goodman said. "This is something that should be a no-brainer: opportunities to save money and increase access to care by taking advantage of technology that's already there."

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