LISTEN: The “biggest moonshot” is fixing American healthcare

On the The Commonwealth Fund’s podcast, “The Dose,” Dr. Vikas Saini talked with host Joel Bervell about all things healthcare, from price transparency at hospitals to the epidemic of unnecessary coronary stents. See some of Dr. Saini’s insights below and listen to the full podcast at the Commonwealth Fund website.

Dr. Saini on the decision to measure stent overuse:

“The issue with stents illustrates some of the deep problems in American medicine, which has to do with how do you decide when something works and when it doesn’t? How do you decide if it works, how much to pay for it? When something is discovered not to work and you’re already paying for it, how do you turn that down? These are all difficult questions, and they’re not new.”

Dr. Saini on treating healthcare like a market:

“I don’t want to walk into my doctor’s office thinking I’m at a McDonald’s. I want to be listened to. I want to be known. I want my background, my family to be known. I want the clinician to hear me and to give me advice. And I want the dollars and cents in the background.”

Dr. Saini on the feasibility of transformative healthcare change:

“If people had an opportunity to work together, crowdsourcing the design of the health care system they want for themselves, their families, and others, I think it’s doable. It’s a big project. But when did we stop trying big projects? Moonshots are what we should try to do, and this is one of the biggest moonshots there is really: fixing American health care.”

Dr. Saini on what a uniquely American healthcare system could look like:

My own view is that we can do a lot better than Medicare or Medicare For All. We can do better in a way that would be different from Canada, different from Europe, different from any other country. If very American, it would be decentralized. It would have a lot of local and regional autonomy and control. It would have elements that were tuned to the local culture…America could have the best health care system in the world.