I have a piece in The New York Times’ Room for Debate blog, discussing how reforming physician incentives is a key to health reform.
Here’s an excerpt:
Some health policy analysts blame the medical profession entirely for the role they play in rising health care spending. And indeed, doctors have tremendous influence in the tests being ordered and treatments prescribed. But singling out physicians would be like blaming the players for a proverbial game’s flawed rules. More important than focusing on the players, we need to change the rules.
What we need to do is rebalance physician compensation away from procedures and toward primary care. Surgeons can easily earn three to five times the average salary of a family doctor. The compensation for surgical procedures should be reduced, and the savings realized should be applied toward increasing pay for primary care physicians.
Enjoy the editorials, and thanks to The Times for the opportunity to write for them.