Health care justice: Lessons from Taiwan Dr. Claudia
Health care justice: Lessons from Taiwan Dr. Claudia Chaufan, MD, PhD University of California San Francisco Physicians for a National Health Program Outline Why Taiwan (the personal & the professional/political)
How did they do it? How can we get from here (ACA) to there? Taiwan: The new kid in town Small island nation, 23 million 180 km off Southeast China Area of 35,883 km2 (13,855 sq mi)
GDP ~ 60% of US (USD 28,000 vs. 46,000). Most Han Chinese, yet culturally and religiously diverse Urban centers and nature Worship and food History of repression and resistance
Why Taiwan (the personal) Invited as Visiting Scholar in Spring 2012, to teach @ International Masters Program (and do research to my hearts content) Fascinated with health care system, wanted to learn more about it
Interviewed academics, policy makers, government officials, health providers, patients Received services (self & hubby) Why Taiwan (the professional/political) Since independence from China (1949) to 1995: over ten separate insurance schemes covering 57% of
population 43% uninsured (U.S. 16%) Costs were increasing (sound familiar?) Why Taiwan (contd.) COVERAGE: Since 1995, ~100% coverage for all medically necessary services COSTS: Cost to nation, 6.25% GDP / Costs to individuals: ~ 5% of nominal wage (up to three individuals per family)
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: Fully free choice of providers, no gatekeepers, no waiting lines COMPETITION: providers compete for patients, as they carry NHI dollars EMR: 100% computerized medical records, full interoperability, Smart Card allows patients to carry around medical history/medications ADMINISTRATIVE OVERHEAD FOR SYSTEM: around 1.5% Why Taiwan (contd.)
ADMINISTRATIVE OVERHEAD FOR DOCS: docs take notes in EMR, connected directly with NHI (~ 4 hrs per month per doctor/1 billing person per 500 residents in nursing home)(US: 31 billion annually) FRAUD AND ABUSE: easy to detect through public centralized administration SATISFACTION RATE: 75% MEDICAL BANKRUPTICES: 0 (USA: ~ 900,000/year affecting ~2,4 million people) DEATHS FOR LACK OF HEALTH INSURANCE: 0 (USA: ~1,000 individuals per 1,000,000 uninsured)
Health and other achievements Deaths from amenable causes declined, especially among those who had poor or no coverage prior to NHI (old and young, esp. low and middle income). Utilization rates increased, especially among the uninsured, even as costs stabilized (greater equitable access to care) Infant preventive care and inpatient care increased
Disparities in mortality for all causes decreased (greater health equity) Easy to test payment methods (e.g. P4P did not work with diabetes care, did work with breast cancer); lots of opportunities for health services research How did they do it: Needs & Goals Need to provide access to health care and to control escalating costs
Goal and commitment to solidarity and equity Attracted to choice, freedom, personal responsibility, and competition How did they do it: Strategies Planning (1986-1993): experts, studied other countries Concluded that the best were Germany, Canada and US Medicare features, rejected US mixed model of financing, heavily reliant on
commercial insurance Chose comprehensive single payer (full public financing, controlled prices, combination of fee for service for individual providers and global budgets for different sectors) Finally, a product described as a car that has been domestically designed and produced, but with many components imported from over ten other countries.
Yes, buthow did they get there? Social background of strong popular discontent with increasing uninsurance and costs of care Political background of election time, opposition (DPP) supported single payer Incumbent (KMT) made it part of its platform and won elections In sum: popular pressure made it not politically feasible not
to implement single payer Selected quotes Services are very good and prices very affordable. You can see a doctor very quickly (international student) I am grateful for living in Taiwan (Taiwanese student)
In the US you have Medicaid for the poor. Thats wrong, because they tell you well give you health care but only if you spend down (physician and professor of health policy) Selected quotes Health security is critical to economic developmentmedical bankruptcies? Nonone (current hospital director and
internist) Physicians fought for higher reimbursements, but not against the concept of social insurancewe did not allow commercial insurers.they are murderers (laughs) (former head of NBHI, current professor of medicine). The system is a miracle. It provides a lot with very little money. Patients love it. Doctors do not like it. They have to work very hard (ENT specialist, makes 4 to 5 times income of
university professor, never had student debt) ) What are the lessons from Taiwan? How can we get from here (ACA) to there (health care justice, a universal right to health care for everybody living in the United States)?
Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, building upon the history, experience and structure of the Medicare that we have Butwhat if the Democrats lose..?
It doesnt matter! It will take more than a village! New Deal (1930s) Great Society (1960s)
Occupy Everything (2010s)? May we learn from the wisdom of Taiwan. Thank you!
My appreciation to my colleagues and friends at Physicians for a National Health Program, for their years of struggle to achieve health care equity for the American people
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