Monday, July 16, 2018

Health Care Currying favor?

India faces an interesting challenge: how to provide health care to its most vulnerable (ie poorest) citizens. Currently, health care financing and delivery models are left up to the individual states (not necessarily a terrible idea, but that's for another post). The country's federal government has been tasked with rolling out private health insurance to some 500,000 of its citizens, which is proving - as one might imagine - quite a challenge:

"Almost five months after announcing the ambitious program, the government is still working to lock in hospitals and insurance companies in time for its planned August launch."

One challenge is infrastructure: "Although ... the IT infrastructure has been put in place, the involvement of hospitals — public and private — and insurance companies was still to be finalized." Sounds familiar.

The other problem is something we also face: how to provide care to an ever-expanding population with a shrinking supply of providers?

"It will not be possible for health care providers to respond to such a huge expansion of coverage without substantial investment in medical facilities and manpower,” said Owen O’Donnell, associate professor at the Rotterdam-based Erasmus School of Economics. “Without that, the extension of coverage risks being nominal rather than real.”

I bet. And again, similar to what we see here with, specifically, expansion of Medicaid "coverage" with narrower and narrower networks from which to obtain actual care. Wonder if our Indian friends will be more successful.

At least they're trying a privatized alternative, even as we plunge headlong toward single payer. What do they know that we don't?

[Hat Tip: FoIB Allison Bell]
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