George Halvorson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente, opened one of the largest conferences I’ve been to with damn near every head of every company in healthcare in attendance and gave this talk.  It’s been one of the most influential and reassuring manifestos I’ve heard in the past few years.  Here are some highlights:

“Care delivery in the U.S. is uncoordinated, unfocused,  inconsistent, unmeasured, extremely inefficient, perversely incented, excessively expensive and sometimes dangerous…Health care delivery is, however, the fastest growing and most profitable segment of the whole U.S. economy…Healthcare is full of smart people.  Smart people do not kill the geese who lay lots of golden eggs.  Health care is awash in both golden eggs and very smart people…We need to remember that the people who depend on a cash flow of fees to stay in business and serve patients will not, voluntarily, take independent steps to reduce the flow of those fees…In today’s world, more efficient and effective caregivers simply deprive themselves of income.  Asthma: $200 to prevent, $10,000 to treat…Health care reform needs to be a “product”–purchased and paid for by high leverage buyers in a well designed, sophisticated and carefully targeted purchasing strategy.”