The National Coalition on Health Care
Web Resource Evaluation:
By John H. Renner, MD
Date of Review: March 17, 1997
This is a very disturbing and challenging website that should be read by anyone concerned with health care issues. It is not a large site, but is powerful in its content. The introduction states: “The National Coalition of Health Care is the nation’s largest and most broadly representative alliance working to improve America’s health care. Rigorously nonpartisan, the Coalition is comprised of almost 100 groups, employing or representing approximately 100 million Americans and united in the belief that we need — and can achieve — better, more affordable, and more equitable health care for all Americans.”
The Coalition membership is listed and should be viewed before reading reports. The five goals are clearly stated and are very reasonable:
- Securing health insurance for all;
- Improved quality of car;
- Cost containment;
- Equitable financing; and
- Simplified administration.
To achieve these goals, The National Coalition on Health Care has done a survey, commissioned papers by leading researchers, held public forums, and published the results. There are two papers on this website that are mandatory reading for an informed consumer, physician, administrator, or health insurance executive. The papers are: “How Americans Perceive the Health Care System: A Report on a National Survey,” and “The Nation’s Least Understood Health Care Problem — The Quality of Medical Care.”
The summary of the latter, very well-referenced article states: “We have described some troubling aspects about the quality of healthcare. At the same time, it is important to point out that there is good news as well, and reason to be hopeful. We have learned a great deal about how to address this problem, and we know that achieving higher quality can lower costs. We know how to conduct outcomes research and how to develop practice guidelines. We know how to bring together private researchers to conduct this work and how to develop better standards of care.”
The conclusion of the survey states: “Concerns raised by those polled were system-wide, relating to quality of care delivered, cost of health care and accessibility of care for the average American. While those surveyed had confidence in their personal health care delivery, there was a notable lack of confidence in the health care system at large. These anxieties crossed gender, political, age, economic and regional boundaries. Additionally, there is a widely help perception that the future of health care does not look good — there is little confidence that the quality of health care delivery can be improved or that health care will be available to the average American.”
This doomsday-like perception is the essence of the disturbing nature of this website. However, the stated goals are optimistic as well as realistic. If medicine listens to its critics and its own statesmen, change will occur for the better. Websites like this one help improve healthcare for all of us.
Internet Health Watch Recommendation: