glyph 191: individual responsibility for health ... paradigms for health care: service delivery vs. patient power ... market process ... distributed vs. centralized compassion ... Kansas


Consumer Driven Health Care, Flint Hills Center, Wichita, Kansas

service delivery or patient power?

A distinction central to the work of Flint Hills Center, taken from "Patient Power" by John McClaughry, available on the Center's website:

Two Paradigms for Health Care

Service Delivery

The service delivery paradigm is based on the concept that health care services are 'delivered.' Patients are viewed as largely passive vessels into which competent professionals pour the elixir of 'health care.' It holds that health care should be delivered through public or publicly controlled managed care organizations, where treatment decisions are made by gatekeepers with incentives (or instructions) to restrain costs. Individual choices about health care and health insurance should be discouraged, because individuals are not competent to make such important choices, and when they do make choices they do so with only their own interest in mind, rather than the good of society as a whole.

Patient Power

The patient power paradigm views patients not as passive receptacles of care, but as empowered consumers. It contends that the primary responsibility for maintaining wellness and paying for health care rests with the informed individual and family, not with the government. Patients are not mere passive receptacles for the delivery of health care. They are conscious human beings whose understanding, involvement and cooperation are essential to maintaining or restoring wellness. People who regularly make important decisions about family, career, and investments must be considered competent to recognize the essentials of healthy lifestyle choices and effective self-treatment for non-acute conditions.

Flint Hills Center

Selected Flint Hills Center links on consumer driven health care:

"Patient Power," by John McClaughry

"Medical Care Inflation," by Richard B. Warner

"The Strength of a Really Bad Idea," by Charles W. Van Way, III, M.D

Quotations from H. L. Mencken employed in Van Way's article:

For any problem, there is a solution which is simple, neat, and wrong.

The fact that I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake.

It is not a sign of communal well-being when men turn to their government to execute all their business for them, but rather a sign of decay...
entered before July 9, 2006

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