Health Care Cost Control

December 2nd, 2009

Health care costs are outrageous and continue to climb. A Business Week article reported that over 700 hundred billion dollars is wasted on countless wasted procedures, fraud, and unnecessary treatments. After thinking about the current state of the economy, this revelation struck home. With all the effort being placed on health care reform, it is shocking that this legislation will have no impact on the rising level of health care costs.

Because the health care system operates on a fee-for-service basis, there is no incentive for doctors and medical care facilities to eliminate waste and do a better job of cost control. While there is no incentive for doctors there seems to be plenty for those who are interested in using the system to fraudulently rip off the system for an estimated $150 billion dollars or more.

In thinking about this mess, I tried to consider some potential solutions. CPAs have lots of tools to assist in fraud investigation. The talent is there to get the job done. Why not engage some of the best resources available to stem the tide of leakage from fraud?

The health care system is a process, just like internal control and business processes. Again, wouldn’t it make sense to tap into the lean experts that are streamlining our supply chain and provide focus on the health care system?

When considering cost containment and control, health care represents one of our biggest challenges. I realize the political sensitivity and polarization that surrounds these issues, but government could wake up and pay attention to the talent pool available and make some real progress in contrast to pushing legislation that isn’t going to get the job done. The answer doesn’t lie with Congress; it requires executive action to take the steps that could really make a difference.