What is the Value of Population Health?

NPA Values Challenge: “We spend trillions of dollars on health care in this country — yet the allocation of those funds are grossly disproportionate to how other countries spend their health care expenditures. We aren’t focused on population health. Now, with Ebola threatening our population, the truth is out.”

In “I’m a Hazmat-Trained Hospital Worker: Here’s What No One Is Telling You About Ebola,” Abby Norman explores core health system failures through the lens of Ebola. If our health care system is so dysfunctional as to be potentially outdone by Ebola, despite plentiful clean water and billions of dollars, what can be done to or within the U.S. health care system to remedy the problems? What would a healthcare system based around population health goals look like? How would population health-based programs, projects and distributions differ from what’s in place today?

These questions are at the heart of the care coordination, stewardship and healthcare team proposals argued for in NPA’s new policy brief, Value and Values in Health Care. Read an excerpt of Norman’s article below and tell us what you think. Your responses to NPA blog posts help us refine our communications about important issues and influence the choice of initiatives we undertake.

We have the technology, and we certainly have the money to keep Ebola at bay. What we don’t have is communication. What we don’t have is a health care system that values preventative care. What we don’t have is an equal playing field between nurses and physicians and allied health professionals and patients. What we don’t have is a culture of health where we work symbiotically with one another and with the technology that was created specifically to bridge communication gaps, but has in so many ways failed. What we don’t have is the social culture of transparency, what we don’t have is a stopgap against mounting hysteria and hypochondria, what we don’t have is nation of health literate individuals. We don’t even have health-literate professionals. Most doctors are specialists and are well versed only in their field. Ask your orthopedist a general question about your health — see if they can comfortably answer it.

For the full article, click here.