Given the partisan gridlock gripping Washington and the continued debate over the Affordable Care Act, it can be hard to imagine common ground on healthcare. And yet, despite the many ideological differences between Republicans and Democrats, there is surprising agreement on our system's shortcomings: Healthcare in the U.S. is wasteful and inefficient, and does a poor job caring for our nation's most vulnerable citizens.
The tough reality is that a small proportion of our country's sickest citizens are driving a disproportionate share of healthcare spending. According to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, just 10 percent of Medicare beneficiaries account for almost 60 percent of annual Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) spending. One would hope that this enormous investment of resources is going toward high-value, high-impact care. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Our most vulnerable patients are not getting the best care.