Right Care Action Week: October 15-21

The Lown Institute’s Right Care Alliance (RCA) is revving up across the country for Right Care Action Week (October 15-21). For the third consecutive year, healthcare practitioners and ‘consumers’ alike will ask people ‘What worries you most about healthcare?’ — with this year’s focus being on what drives up health care costs.

Some cost pushers are obvious, such as the $250 million average annual salaries of health insurance CEOs. But there are many hidden drivers as well. Health care premiums go up when hospitals and health care companies buy physicians’ practices. Overall drug costs rise when pharmaceutical companies offer big discounts on their brand name drugs to squeeze out generics. Even taken-for-granted mammogram screening costs $8 billion a year despite the large body of evidence showing a lack of benefit in reducing deaths.

For the second year in a row my friend Derith Smith and I are participating in Right Care Action Week by asking people in Traverse City, Michigan how they can fix the ‘misuse, underuse, and overuse’ of healthcare. That question speaks to the need for evidence-based medicine, quality care for everyone, and addressing the problems of over-testing, overdiagnosing, and overtreating many conditions, including breast cancer.

See the map at www.rightcarealliance.org to view where events like this are taking place all around the country.

For ours, will speak to diverse audiences at local events and listen to ‘what worries you’ in front of the post office, the library, and several physical fitness locales. We are especially trying to reach local doctors and nurses to encourage a grassroots coalition that puts patients, not profits, at the center of health care.

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