What About the Patient?

Health care is made up of intensely personal products and services – more so than any other products and services we consume. Therefore, the conversation about health care reform ought to start from the perspective of the patient, along with the doctors and other professionals who are “in the room” with us.

Yet, the debate rages with a focus on what government and insurance companies and hospitals and drug makers and so on are going to do (or be required to do) to or for one or another group. In the vast majority of the debate about health care reform, it seems the role that the patient actually plays in their own health care gets little mention. It’s maddening.

What about the patient?

There are a number of very good proposals for reforming the health care system that are patient-centric. I encourage you to read about the market-oriented solutions that Regina Herzlinger at Harvard, John Goodman at the National Center for Policy Analysis, the NCPA-driven Free Our Health Care Now petition, and others are promoting patient-centered reforms to address access and affordability.

Does the U.S. health care system need to be reformed? Yes. But, how we do it deserves sober consideration – starting with putting patients in the center of the conversation.

Woody Runner is Founder and CEO of Three Questions, LLC which operates Project Diabetes as part of My Health Projects. Three Questions also operates Healthcare Fellowship Networks.

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