Accountable care organizations. Patient centered medical homes. Episodes of care.
What do they have in common?
They each attempt to use payment incentives to encourage disparate practitioners to collaborate to achieve quality outcomes.
Socialized medicine is progress
The key word is collaborate. Countless research indicates that when doctors work in teams, they achieve better results at lower costs. It is this transition from doctor as solo practitioner to doctor as a member of a team that is the key challenge to reforming our health care delivery system.
This transition from solo craftsman to a member of a team is not new to the evolution of our economy.
It is how Karl Marx differentiated capitalism from the mercantilist economy that preceded it. He called it the socialization of work. It was this contradiction between the socialization of work and the private ownership of the means of production – capital –that was supposed to be resolved by the socialist revolution.
Karl Marx recognized that this socialization of work brought tremendous increases in productivity to the world economy. Continue reading