Mismanagement, corruption, and fraud pervade the United States healthcare system. Comprehensive improvements have yet to occur, since effective regulation is thwarted by politically powerful interests who benefit from the system as it functions now.
Regulation, or rather the absence of regulation, is what connects our dysfunctional, fraudulent healthcare system and patient harm. Hovering in the background of all the cases of fraud we have discussed is the sad fact that, for all too many providers, delivering high quality healthcare has not been the primary concern.
The quality of care in a system so riddled with fraud and corruption is bound to be poor. In fact, the World Health Organization found that the United States healthcare system ranks only 37th in overall quality when compared with other nations. There is a conflict between the need to provide quality care to patients and the ever-increasing financial benefits to those who make their livelihoods from healthcare. The vast sums of money that the stakeholders (insurance companies, drug companies, managed-care companies, hospital administrators, physicians, politicians, and the like) are able to amass has prevented the development of the type of high-quality, well-regulated healthcare the people need. A fundamental tenet of National Capitalism--that when each individual is pursing his or her self interest, this will eventually lead to general improvements for all--does not apply in healthcare. The result of our unregulated, money-driven health delivery system is much more serious than just its financial abuses.
common pathway is iatrogenic patient injury and death. So-called
are rampant. Each and every American is either the victim of a malpractice,
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