The ACA is Working. Now Let’s Prove it.

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Readers know my branding equation has three variables: claim, proof planks and proof points. The Affordable Care Act has one primary goal: improve patient outcomes. The big honkin’ goal is to make America less sick. If it works, the cost of care will go down. America spends $18-19 of every $100 on healthcare. If we prevent disease we can cut that number substantially.

We are in year 2 of implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the CMS (Center for Medicare Services) and most other number-gatherers are hard-pressed to find evidence of improved population health. We have lots of claim little proof. I understand big data takes time, but frankly, I think we’re not looking hard enough.

Rather than spend hundreds of millions on web site usability, call centers, systems integrators and community outreach, can’t we cut off a piece of that pie and hire 100 data analysts whose sole mission is to quantify health improvements in communities with improved health services?

As more patients have access to physicians and more patients are educated in ways to prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease the numbers will improve. Daily. We just have to turn loose some data nerds. The data is there – it’s probably at Aetna, Blue Cross and United Healthcare – we just have to find it. And publish it. And celebrate it.

We have the claim right, now it’s proof time. Peace.