Scapegoating technology in health care

Medical Spending Continues to Rise at a Strong Pace, according to the Wall Street Journal. The story reports on a new study by the Center for Studying Health System Change. The study’s author, Paul B. Ginsburg says,

I don’t think there is much basis for expecting health-care costs trends to be low for a very long time… because advancing medical technology is driving up costs

But where except in health care do we blindly accept the argument that technology drives up costs? In fact, technology should drive costs down. Also in today’s Journal, Dell Computer CEO Kevin Rollins offers principles from other industries to improve health care. Among them:

Drive down costs with continual improvement. Highlight the potential for cost-savings through information technology by minimizing time constraints and errors caused by excessive paperwork and administrative requirements

In the computer industry, automotive industry, steel industry and others, technology is used to drive down costs and increase quality. It should be the same in health care.

June 21, 2005

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