Dr. Noseworthy’s Invitation

Now that the smoke has cleared and the 30-second ads have (thankfully, to many) left the airwaves until the next election cycle, it’s time for policymakers to refocus their attention on the daunting challenges facing our nation — addressing our healthcare system’s cost, quality and sustainability challenges certainly not the least among them.

In that vein, Congress, the President and key players in the Obama Administration would do well to accept an invitation from Mayo Clinic CEO John Noseworthy.

Dr. Noseworthy, the day after the election, publicly invited our nation’s leaders to work with Mayo to address the healthcare problems that he insists, correctly, still remain even with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the process of implementation.

As Dr. Noseworthy said, “Care for patients is fragmented, reimbursement inequitable and imprecise.  An uncertain economy, challenges of an aging population and the federal deficit have combined to put even greater pressure on our nation and the country’s not-for-profit healthcare organizations.”

Mayo’s invitation is a needed reminder that a number of forward-thinking healthcare providers in the country are doing a remarkable job containing cost increases, achieving greater efficiencies and still improving healthcare quality through innovation.  It’s one thing to write and read policy papers.  It’s another level of understanding altogether to visit these providers, meet with their leaders, physicians and nurses and accelerate a process of extrapolating many of their successful approaches to the healthcare system at large.

In developing their plans for 2013, Washington, D.C.’s leaders should schedule ample time to get out of town, visit the nation’s most effective healthcare organizations and develop a vivid picture of what the future of American healthcare can and should be.