V.A. Hospitals: A Good Model for Health Care?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

As the Obama administration and Congress design a blueprint for our next healthcare system, The Takeaway is looking at possible models that are already in place. President Obama often refers to electronic medical records as one way to improve care while cutting costs. That's something the Veterans Administration is already doing. Since the 1970s, the V.A. has digitized its system to coordinate medical care, which now serves more than 5 million veterans. Joining us to talk about what lawmakers can draw from the V.A. is Phillip Longman. He is a Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and author of Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care is Better Than Yours . He also has an article on Health IT coming out in the July issue of The Washington Monthly. For a practitioner’s perspective we are joined by Peter Ubel. He is a physician and behavioral scientist at the University of Michigan. He has practiced medicine in the VA system for 15 years.

For a different view of the Veteran's Administration's practices, read Walt Bogdanich's article, At V.A. Hospital, a Rogue Cancer Unit, in The New York Times.


Phillip Longman and Dr. Peter Ubel


Chelsea Merz

Comments [1]

Rick Evans

The book "Overtreated ..." by Shannon Brownlee is also quite complimentary of the VA Vista system. However the key to holding VA costs in line is that doctors are on salary thus eliminating the financial incentives to do procedures. The Vista system is primarily a quality tool. Unleash a digital records system onto the Medical Industrial Complex especially its AMA small businessmen and you can be sure they will game the system to the max as they have done with Medicare and Medicaid.

Jun. 23 2009 08:26 AM

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