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The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care

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  • Posted April 29, 2013

    In The Innovator¿s Prescription, Clayton Christensen and his ass

    In The Innovator’s Prescription, Clayton Christensen and his associates address the complex issue of health care reform. Their stated purpose is to “provide a road map for those seeking innovation and reform" (xviii).

    The central thesis of this collaborative effort is that there is a market solution to the rising costs of health care. The proposed solution illustrates that health care reform is a complex undertaking which involves not only lowering the cost of insurance, but also addressing other critical issues such as expensive “one-size-fits-all” business models used by hospitals and physicians. Nine major categories of problems are identified which must be addressed in order to permanently raise the quality of health care while simultaneously providing greater access at lower costs.

    Christensen, a renowned consultant and Harvard scholar, applies his theory of “disruptive innovation” to America’s health care crisis. Disruptive innovation describes the phenomenon that occurs when a product typically only available to the rich is made available to the poor, albeit a product of initial lesser quality.

    An example is the personal computer which initially gave rank and file individuals access to basic word processing and games. Over time, the quality of these products became better and better, eventually displacing the role of ridiculously expensive room-size computers and making high quality personal computers accessible at low costs.

    The authors claim that this same phenomenon can impact America’s health care system. For example, they argue that in some instances costs can be lowered by supplanting expensive physicians with less-expensive staff or technologies which have the same capabilities.

    In 2009, President Obama deplored the rising costs of health care in the United States, saying that “for all of this spending, more of our citizens are uninsured, the quality of our care is often lower, and we aren’t any healthier.”

    Yet time after time in The Innovator’s Prescription, Christensen, Grossman, and Hwang demonstrate how disruptive innovation can create a market solution to the health care crisis. They carefully dissect each known problem and demonstrate exactly how more citizens can obtain high-quality, low-cost health insurance designed to improve health.

    Christensen and his associates do a masterful job at objectively presenting a complex issue in a reasonably succinct and impressively organized fashion. At the same time, they are likely to incite passion in many readers. Their belief in disruptive innovation is likely to anger physicians who are hesitant to accept less expensive technologies and business models. Their claim that a long-term solution is not possible without requiring everybody to purchase insurance—something akin to the “individual mandate” of national health care reform—is also likely to frustrate many conservatives. Nonetheless, the analysis is unmistakably nonpartisan and it is easy to see that the authors are more concerned with finding a solution than placating their audience.

    While the book does not make for light reading, it will be a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in truly understanding what is wrong with our health care system. The Innovator’s Prescription provides an impressively objective analysis of what is wrong with America’s health care system and what is necessary to create a long-term solution.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    Road Map to Improvements in US Health Care Delivery

    This is an excellent book that every legislator and chief executive must read and absorb. In a third of the pages it takes the US Congress to promote an ineffective and expensive plan that merely mimicks European-style single-payer health care, Christensen, Grossman and Hwang map out well-argued, well-documented, well-reasoned innovations to the health care system, its delivery mechanism, and its funding. Based in market-driven solutions, the concepts presented in this book free those who participate in this area of our economy (that is, ALL of us) to allow health care to be treated as an economic sector, and not merely a social service. A MUST READ for legislators, practitioners and patients.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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