Gino J. Pazzaglini: Healthcare system flawed

May 15, 2013 

Healthcare system flawed

My, my, “Hospital prices vary widely” (May 9 news story). We are shocked, shocked!

Your reporting of Medicare-released hospital pricing differences should make us question our own views about how healthcare should or shouldn’t be regulated. Do we blame greedy hospital boards and executives? A bloated and inefficient federal program? All of the above?

As a retired healthcare executive, I hope that this expose will cause people to see that the manner in which healthcare is purchased and measured is seriously flawed and outdated. If how we pay hospitals and doctors is broken, then pricing will be broken too. Our goal is the best possible care at the lowest possible cost (value). Although it’s popular to bash “Obamacare” (and I agree that it has shortcomings to overcome), I do believe that it’s a worthwhile attempt to change our payment structures and find the complex balance between free-market capitalism (competitive pricing and survival of the fittest) and heavily regulated public utilities serving every community fairly (think price controls or government subsidies).

What should healthcare be and how to pay for it? My plea is that we never forget about healthcare becoming unaffordable or inaccessible for some people and not others.

Gino J. Pazzaglini, Raleigh

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