Cornell University

May 12 2010

Personal and Societal Choices

Health care delivery reform "is doable," Crosson says

No amount of political change "will put the genie back in the bottle" -- health care insurance premiums will continue going up, keynote speaker Jay Crosson said today at the ILR conference on delivery reform.

Cost can be contained, though, through "a series of choices we make as a society,” he said. “It is doable."

Crosson of Kaiser Permanente is vice chair of the federal Medicare Payment Advisory Committee.  He spoke to 200 people at "A Time for Change: Restructuring America's Health Care Delivery System."  The conference was held in Manhattan today and Tuesday.

The first step in creating an integrated delivery system is unifying medical records, he said.

That facilitates capability for measuring and improving care and it develops capacity to accept accountability for the full spectrum of cost performance and quality issues, Crosson said.

It takes, he said, leadership that looks something like this:  "Taking people you don't even want to talk to" to a place where mutual arrogance is discarded, physicians have a role in governance and labor-management relationships support the mission of quality, cost-efficient care."

He urged the nurses, doctors, researchers, academics, union leaders and others in the room to think individualistically, as well as organizationally.

"Think about what your role is, could be, should be," he said.

Consider, Crosson said, "Who is on the other side you need to work with to make this change happen?"