Why Not Better and Cheaper? is the title of a fabulous new book by economist, James Rebitzer, and healthcare industry expert, Robert Rebitzer. This book is unusual. It's the first I've encountered that's written by twins! And not just twins, identical twins. And twins that are still talking to each other after the fact! I'm a fraternal twin and know we wouldn't make it past the first chapter. The second unusual thing about this book -- It gets at the heart of America's healthcare system. It's not just the system's organization. It's the failure, for clear cut and highly fixable reasons, to bring established technologies to full use in lowering healthcare costs and improving healthcare outcomes. The U.S. spends 18 percent of GDP -- a higher share by a mile than any other advanced country, yet we rank 21st in healthcare outcomes. Sweden spends 11 percent of GDP on healthcare and has the 4th best outcomes. Jim and Bob spend just 119 pages telling you and your members of Congress, who you must send this book, precisely what's not working in our current system -- all of which can be easily fixed. What things, exactly? How about letting doctors in one state treat patients remotely, as appropriate, in another. Or having a national electronic medical records system. Or receiving care, like an infusion, in our homes, not at the hospital. The list is long, but the book is short. You need to read it for yourself and for our kids, who, in the great scheme of Uncle Sam, slated to go bankrupt paying for our old age healthcare.
Jim's a top professor of health economics at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. Bob is one of the nation's top strategists and consultants on healthcare in the country. He's worked with a host of leading healthcare providers. The team combines theory and practicality in one critically important book.
Economic Matters - The podcast is hosted by Laurence Kotlikoff and moderated by Alex Kotlikoff.