The United States is the richest country that has ever existed. While its per-capita GDP is not at the absolute top of the rankings, it still has the most wealth, by far, of any nation on Earth and has enjoyed nearly unchecked hegemony throughout the world, both in terms economic and military, for the better part of the last century.
It is, therefore, almost embarrassing to contemplate the state of the country’s healthcare system. For the second straight year, 2017 saw the life expectancy of large portions of the American populace actually decline. At the same time, the country pays more than two and a half times the OECD-average healthcare expenditure per capita, making the United States the single most expensive healthcare market in the world and also one that delivers some of the worst outcomes of any developed country.
These facts are nothing short of scandalous. However, so entrenched are the interests that want to keep the healthcare gravy train from slowing down that meaningful reforms have proven to be almost impossible. But one man may have some real answers to the ills that are affecting so many Americans, not brought about by disease but instead brought on by the healthcare system itself.
Drew Madden is one of the lone voices for reform from inside America’s bloated and inefficient healthcare system itself. The maverick healthcare IT professional has been in the industry for more than 20 years. And Madden has seen, first hand, the kinds of backroom deals and deeply rooted special interests that prevent any movement for change from getting traction. But he believes that he has found a few ways that can get real reforms moving.
One of the most important, argues Madden, is the injection of real competitive pressures into the healthcare economy. As it stands, the majority of hospital networks, pharmaceutical companies and insurance firms act in a cartel-like capacity. Madden says that one of the best ways to break up this de facto cartel is through putting powerful information into the hands of consumers. Madden is working to create platforms that inform consumers about insurance policies, surgical procedures and doctor rankings.