Jefferson Health CEO Dr. Stephen Klasko: Be prepared to kick the status quo

Stephen K. Klasko, MD, president and CEO of Philadelphia-based ThomasJeffersonUniversity and Jefferson Health, says the U.S. healthcare system continues to be plagued by some of the same problems it's been facing for the last 30 years, but the next 30 years will mark an era of unequivocal change in the industry, according to

Dr. Klasko, the keynote presenter at the Maimonides Society's 30th anniversary on June 9 in Allentown, Pa., said fighting the status quo will be inextricable from efforts to produce meaningful change.

"There's pain involved with disruption," said Dr. Klasko, according to the report.

In discussing some of the details of his recently published book, We CAN Fix Healthcare: The Future is NOW, Dr. Klasko opened up on some of his criticisms of the healthcare industry, which he said is slow to change. Furthermore, he said resistance to change is partially to blame for out-of-control healthcare costs and marginal change in the fee-for-service model, according to the report.

"We blame everyone but us," said Dr. Klasko, according to the report. "All of us contribute to an inefficient, expensive, inequitable and unsafe healthcare system."

For instance, according to Dr. Klasko, the U.S. will need 25 percent fewer hospitals in the upcoming decades, but organizations continue to build more hospitals across the country, despite a decline in overnight stays and a growing need for home healthcare services.

Additionally, Dr. Klasko said medical schools continue to teach physicians in the same way as they did in the 1960s. "We do a really lousy job of training doctors," he said, citing a study that found 70 percent of physicians in practice three years or less said they did not feel they learned what they needed to know in their practice, according to the report.

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