Where Do We Begin?

1startFinishGame

The only way we will get the Affordable Health Care and Beyond for ALL Americans that we deserve is to come together as a group and take action. I am calling this group BB’s Brigade. I am asking all who are interested to first read what we are about in the pages organized under the “Start Here” tab of this blog. You will learn about the message, who we are, and why we need a brigade in more detail. You will also get an overview of the health care players involved.

I invite you to read and comment on:

  • articles that summarize important concepts (background)
  • articles about health care DATA, a necessary ingredient for taking ownership and management of our personal health care
  • articles that discuss transparency and cost savings by targeting the business of health care and not the practice of health care
  • “and Beyond” articles that dream of out-of-the-box solutions that would shake up our health care system status quo

Background articles will be written from the individual American point of view. My aim is to make them readable to the average American which means that much of the complexity that is inherent in all parts of the U.S. health care system will be lacking. I will provide links to more detailed descriptions for those who wish to learn more. I will invite BB Brigaders to help me find the clearest descriptions for the individual American to read. I try to keep health care jargon to a minimum–a more difficult task than I could have possibly imagined when I first started this blog.

Data is at the very foundation of achieving Affordable Health Care and Beyond for ALL Americans. If you learn to understand the importance of health care data, you are more than half way to our goal. Accumulating, measuring, and analyzing health care data is currently not being done and until it is, we will not achieve our goal. Data is money and members of America’s HICUP (BB Brigade acronym for those who are engaged in the “business of health care” in the USA) are hoarding it for their own agendas.

There is a lot of talk, and only token action, when it comes to transparency of quality and cost data. Personal medical “raw” data is hoarded and frustratingly difficult to get even with electronic health records. Our government needs to accumulate, measure and analyze cost and quality data to drive out excessive pricing practices and develop health care guidelines (what works and what doesn’t).

Patients (or designated health care advocates) need to become “engaged” in their own health care.  If you have an elderly relative, help them manage their medical care. The elderly are the most over-treated, misdiagnosed, and generally abused group in the health care business because they lack a family member or friend to act as a health care advocate.

Finally, I will be presenting, “and beyond” reform ideas. Because they are beyond our health care reform system as it stands today, these ideas will be controversial. I will not shy away for this reason. Within the “and beyond” blogs, a good idea might rise to the surface.

The Bottom Line

I am asking you (or a designated health care advocate) to educate yourself in the “plain” language of health care while you are healthy. The Internet is a great place to begin. You cannot do it when you are fighting disease. I am asking you to “engage” in your personal health care. Sign up for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) with your medical providers. I am not asking you to become an “armchair” doctor and do not expect you to evaluate the quality of different treatments. This is the job of the health care providers. Lastly (and probably, most importantly) I am asking you to become involved in the actions we develop as part of BB’s brigade.

continue to The Mission Explained