Power to the Patient

Power to the Patient

Selected Health Care Issues and Policy Solutions

Editor: Scott W. Atlas MD   Authors: Daniel P. Kessler, Mark V. Pauly
ISBN: 978-0-8179-4592-3
Publication Date: 2/25/2005
Pages: 62

HOW CAN WE BEGIN TO CONTROL THE RISING COSTS OF HEALTH CARE?

When calculated on a per capita basis, the United States has the costliest health care system in the world. The debate rages on over how to cope with the rising costs of medical care, with proposed solutions ranging from a single-payer system with broad government control to loosely defined market-driven plans. Power to the Patient: Selected Health Care Issues and Policy Solutions looks at three key elements of health care costs—third-party payment, the realities of growth in medical spending, and the medical liability system—and offers thoughtful, realistic suggestions to help stem the tide of rising expenses for everyone.

Scott W. Atlas proposes changing the nature of health care insurance so that patients make direct payments to their health care providers. The critical focus, he says, should be on empowering the patient by putting consumers in charge of their money and letting them make cost-conscious decisions about spending health care dollars.

Daniel P. Kessler reviews the current debate over the medical liability system, examining three areas of proposed reforms: limits on liability, "patients' bill of rights" proposals, and alternative reforms such as medical practice guidelines, dispute resolutions, and no-fault insurance.

Mark V. Pauly looks at the reasons why real medical spending has increased and concludes that it is virtually impossible to lower costs without lowering quality of care.


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Daniel P. Kessler

Daniel Kessler is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where he teaches courses on economics, public policy, and the health care industry. He is also a professor at the Stanford Law School and a professor, by courtesy, of health research and policy in the School of Medicine. continued




Mark V. Pauly

Mark V. Pauly holds the position of Bendheim Professor in the Department of Health Care Systems at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. He is a professor of health care systems, insurance and risk management, and business and public policy at the Wharton School and professor of economics in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.




Scott W. Atlas, MD

Scott W. Atlas, MD, is the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a member of Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Health Care Policy. He investigates the impact of government and the private sector on access, quality, pricing, and innovation in health care, and he is a frequent policy adviser to government leaders in those areas.

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