The Key to Better Healthcare at a Lower Cost? Good Behavior

Obama in Oval meeting OMB Director Peter R. OrszagLast month, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed from Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, where he laid out the importance of improving the quality of health care while wringing waste out of the system. He distills this process into four steps; note the importance of effecting more positive behaviors, from both physicians and patients:

How can we move toward a high-quality, lower-cost system? There are four key steps: 1) health information technology, because we can’t improve what we don’t measure; 2) more research into what works and what doesn’t, so doctors don’t recommend treatments that don’t improve health; 3) prevention and wellness, so that people do the things that keep them healthy and avoid costs associated with health risks such as smoking and obesity; and 4) changes in financial incentives for providers so that they are incentivized rather than penalized for delivering high-quality care.

For the full editorial, click here.

(Note: this entry originally appeared at

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