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And now a word from our internists (what they say about healthcare reform)

September 9, 2009 |  4:39 pm

In a paper released today, the American College of Physicians offers up the opinion of its members -- internal medicine specialists, subspecialists and medical students -- on rising healthcare costs and what should be done about them.

Money "Controlling Health Care Costs While Promoting the Best Possible Health Outcomes" blames increased spending on these 10 factors:

- Advancing technology

- Demographics and declining health status

- Lack of productivity growth

- Inappropriate utilization

- Payment system distortions

- Consumer price insensitivity

- Medical errors and inefficiency

- Medical malpractice and defensive medicine

- Higher prices

- Administrative costs

Then it offers up various policy solutions. Here's the full paper.

The conclusion states: "None of our recommendations in isolation will solve all of the problems besetting our health care system. However, meaningful cost reductions can be achieved without sacrificing quality or decreasing access to health care. In fact, cost controls must be accomplished in order to expand access and to achieve health care reform."

Over at the Huffington Post, John Geyman, a professor emeritus of family medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, is keeping an eye on "organized medicine."

He writes today:

"Organized medicine has a poor track record in terms of reform. Although a universal system of health insurance was considered favorably for a short time by a committee of the American Medical Association (AMA) during Teddy Roosevelt's abortive attempt to establish such a program during the 1912 to 1917 period, the AMA has played a consistently reactionary role against such reform since then."

Then he notes (so you have some context for the above paper):

"Organized medicine has become so fragmented that no one group speaks for the profession. In fact, some groups have endorsed major health care reform, even to the point of single-payer national health insurance (NHI). As the second largest medical organization in the country with some 125,000 members, the American College of Physicians (ACP) has endorsed single-payer as one of two major options to reform our system.
 
-- Tami Dennis

Credit: Los Angeles Times

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