Now that health insurance reform has been passed and upheld by the Supreme Court, the real job of reducing the cost of healthcare needs to begin. Reducing healthcare costs is an extremely difficult job, one that requires out-of-the-box thinking to succeed. Fortunately, reducing variation in healthcare delivery offers a great deal of promise while giving doctors the say they deserve in making changes to healthcare workflow.
In Quality Care, Affordable Care: How Physicians Can Reduce Variation and Lower Healthcare Costs, Dr. Lawrence Shapiro explains how by using the simple but potent variation-reduction process, physicians can take charge of healthcare reform to improve health and reduce the cost of care. He tells the real-life story of how the variation-reduction program at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, which he runs, saved $31 million by instituting a series of specialty-oriented variation-reduction programs. He also shares the five pillars of a successful variation-reduction program, and explains how providers can use these approaches to build their own in-house variation-reduction effort.
Understand and implement an approach to healthcare change that puts doctors in the driver's seat. Quality Care, Affordable Care: How Physicians Can Reduce Variation and Lower Healthcare Costs offers a practical, hands-on guide to getting a variation-reduction program in place that will engage physicians. It offers a unique take from a physician leader who has personally led a highly successful program, and explains in plain language how to take advantage of his experience.
“A seminal resource at a critical time! Dr. Shapiro unveils the complex relationships between stakeholders in the changing healthcare environment in America, demystifying the thought processes and motivations of doctors, insurers and patients, alike. Through fascinating examples from his team’s work, Dr. Shapiro outlines successful measures to effect maximum value (quality/cost), detailing a robust process for physician-led, data-driven standard development, supporting affordable and regionally appropriate care of the highest quality."
Erica Weirich, MD
Director, Global Health Research Foundation Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
“In his new book, Quality Care, Affordable Care, Dr. Shapiro provides a novel solution to bending the cost curve and improving patient outcomes, a physician’s perspective and recipe for success in an increasingly value conscious healthcare market. The book provides much needed fresh insight that takes the mystery out of medical cost reduction through a practical program of variation reduction - and puts the solution back in the hands of physicians. As an experienced physician and healthcare administrator, Shapiro provides his proven formula for eliminating unnecessary, costly and potentially risky medical care while providing greater value to the patient through improved outcomes.”
Karl G. Sylvester, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics
Executive Director, Center for Fetal and Maternal Health Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
Stanford University School of Medicine
“Formal guidelines are applicable to only a small fraction of clinical practice. Dr. Shapiro engagingly shows how groups of physicians asking questions about variations in their own practices can develop, and then adhere to, their own guidelines. Creating such learning healthcare systems is the best way to increase value in healthcare.”
Harold S. Luft, PhD
Caldwell B. Esselstyn Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Health Economics University of California, San Francisco
Author, Total Cure: The Antidote to the Healthcare Crisis
About the Author
Lawrence Shapiro, MD, is a board-certified physician with a specialty in pulmonary medicine. For the last 20 years, he has been enmeshed in the healthcare system known as managed care. As a result of these experiences with physicians, medical groups, hospitals and health plans, he initiated the Variation Reduction Process at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, which has reduced the cost of healthcare while increasing quality.