HPCI News: Best Care at Lower Cost – The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America.

To: Members and selected others

This month the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a landmark report with recommendations entitled Best Care at Lower Cost – The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America.

Some highlights:

  • "Health care in America has experienced an explosion in knowledge, innovation, and capacity to manage previously fatal conditions. Yet, paradoxically, it falls short on such fundamentals as quality, outcomes, cost, and equity."
  • "If banking worked like health care, ATM transactions would take days; if homebuilding were like health care, carpenters, electricians and plumbers would work from different blueprints and hardly talk to each other; if shopping were like health care, prices would not be posted and could vary widely within the same store, depending on who was paying."
  • Current waste divert resources, the report estimates $750 billion in unnecessary health spending in 2009 alone. Also, by one estimate, 75,000 needless deaths could have been averted in 2005 if every state had delivered care on par with the best performing state.

Report conclusion: "The entrenched challenges of the U.S. health care system demand a transformed approach. Left unchanged, health care will continue to under perform; cause unnecessary harm; and strain national, state, and family budgets. The actions required to reverse this trend will be notable, substantial, sometimes disruptive – and absolutely necessary. The imperatives are clear, but the changes are possible – and they offer the prospect for best care at lower cost for all Americans."

See attached Report Brief and 10 Recommendations.

This report builds on landmark IOM reports published in the past two decades, including To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New System for the 21st Century, and Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethic Disparities in Health Care.

Paul M. Pietzsch, MPH
HPCI - IHBA Office
4430 Ashley Park Drive
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
(515) 778-6300