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The JAMA Forum
May 5, 2015

Innovating Care for Medicare Beneficiaries: Time for Riskier Bets and Embracing Failure

Author Affiliations
  • 1Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH, is K.T. Li Professor of International Health and Health Policy at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and a practicing internist at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System. He received his MD from Harvard Medical School and was trained in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. Dr Jha’s major research interests lie in improving the quality and costs of health care. His work has focused on 4 primary areas—public reporting, pay-for-performance, health information technology, and leadership—and the roles they play in fixing the US health care system
JAMA. 2015;313(17):1701-1702. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.2605

Of all the pressing challenges in the US health care system, lack of innovation in delivery may be the most important. Indeed, as we come upon the 50th anniversary of Medicare (http://1.usa.gov/1FayVgF), a few facts seem apparent. What we do for patients—whether they have infectious diseases, heart disease, or cancer—has changed dramatically. Yet, how we do those things—the basic structure of our health care delivery system—has changed very little.

This lack of innovation in how we do things is a major reason why health care productivity has been so low and high spending has had insufficient benefits for patients.

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