For years we’ve read that the US faces a looming shortage of nurses. Shortfalls in the hundreds of thousands of nurses are routinely predicted. These predictions have been good for nursing schools, which have used the promise of ample employment opportunities to more than double the number of nursing students over the last 10 years, according to CNN.
The re-election of President Obama dramatically increases the chances that the Affordable Care Act will be fully implemented. It also demonstrates the power of data and analytics to drive results and to improve over time. Karl Rove helped get George Bush elected by pioneering the use of consumer data to finely segment voters, but in the last two elections the GOP has been far eclipsed by the Democrats who have built on what Rove did and took it much further.
The third-party reimbursement model drives up medical costs because patients miss out on the price signals that in a normal market would cause them to seek less costly alternatives and avoid wasteful spending. Various types of cost-sharing approaches –co-payments, deductibles, tiered networks, consumer directed health plans– have been tried, but they have limited effectiveness.