Total Cure: The Antidote to the Health Care Crisis by Harold S. LuftTotal Cure: The Antidote to the Health Care Crisis by Harold S. Luft

Total Cure: The Antidote to the Health Care Crisis

byHarold S. Luft

Paperback | October 15, 2010

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Proposals to reform the health care system typically focus on either increasing private insurance or expanding government-sponsored plans. Guaranteeing that everyone is insured, however, does not create a system with the quality of care patients want, the flexibility clinicians need, and the internal dynamics to continually improve the value of health care.

In Total Cure, Hal Luft presents a comprehensive new proposal, SecureChoice, which does all that while providing affordable health insurance for every American. SecureChoice is a plan that restructures payment for medical care, harnessing the flexibility and responsiveness of the market by aligning the incentives of clinicians, hospitals, and insurers with those of the patient. It uses the accountability of government to ensure transparency, competition, and equity.

SecureChoice has two major components. A universal pool covers the major risks of hospitalization and chronic illness, which account for almost two-thirds of all costs. Everyone would be in the pool, irrespective of employment, income, or health status. The second component emphasizes choice, flexibility, and responsibility. People will be able to choose any physician to serve as their “medical home,” to keep track of their health records, provide much of their care, and suggest referrals. Clinicians will have the information and incentives to continually enhance quality. SecureChoice also facilitates improvements in areas ranging from malpractice to pharmaceuticals and establishes new roles for key stakeholders such as health insurers.

Harold S. Luft is Director of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, and Caldwell B. Esselstyn Professor of Health Policy and Health Economics, Emeritus, University of California, San Francisco.
Title:Total Cure: The Antidote to the Health Care CrisisFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0 inPublished:October 15, 2010Publisher:HarvardLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0674057368

ISBN - 13:9780674057364

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Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • List of Tables and Figures
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  1. Build on What You’ve Got, but Recognize Real-World Constraints
  2. Overview of a Restructured Health Care System
  3. Covering the Cost of Care: Rethinking Health Insurance
  4. Organizing Care and Paying Providers
  5. Choices: Harnessing Data to Inform Decisions
  6. Financing SecureChoice
  7. Malpractice, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Education, and Prevention
  8. How SecureChoice Would Work for Patients and Physicians
  9. Getting There: Policy Choices, Implementation, and Transition
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Index

Editorial Reviews

Brilliant and badly underappreciated...Luft seems to recognize that advances in medical technology make the traditional approach to private health insurance less viable. Yet he also sees the value in promoting constructive competition. Part of the appeal of Luft's approach is that it is very open-ended: While [Universal Coverage Pool] coverage for big-ticket costs is mandatory, wraparound coverage is optional. His plan could be financed through something like our current system of tax incentives for employers, or we could finance it through taxes. And though fairly complex in its details, the basic outlines are simple and attractive: With the UCP in place, no one will ever go bankrupt due to illness; private insurers and providers will compete on the basic of cost and quality; and the health system will get better and cheaper over time.