According to Robert Smith, Executive Director of the Colorado Business Group on Health, “The
one thing we know about health (in the US) is that it is driven by economic self-interest”. Focus
on economic self-interest leads to multiple negative ramifications. A 2021 report by The
Commonwealth Fund, the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation, and the
World Health Organization, measured “access to care,” “care process,” “administrative
efficiency,” “equity,” and “health care outcomes” in eleven wealthy nations. The analysis ranked
the US dead last in all categories except for “care process.” (Mirror, Mirror 2021: Reflecting
What’s going on? Why is US health care delivery so out of line with that of other developed
nations? Economic incentives appear to be at the root of the problem. Patients, providers, and
payers motivated by self-interest often work at cross-purposes with each other. Providers want
to gain as much market share and revenue as possible. Payers attempt to minimize payouts to
providers. Third-party insurance coverage exacerbates the problem by masking true cost. The
patient often has no clue and providers have few incentives to contain it. Ultimately, patients
must navigate through a complex and confusing bureaucratic maze and struggle to understand
and secure affordable health care. There are many who have no third- party coverage.
What’s to be done? Can substantial reform occur without developing universal health coverage
and going up against the entrenched interests of big pharma and health insurance companies?
Perhaps the underpinnings for realistic reform already exist in Wisconsin. The state is home to
several organizations like the national trade association for credit unions (CUNA Mutual), multi-
specialty and group physician practices, and the community-owned and funded (and
extraordinarily revered) Green Bay Packers. Parts of these various models might form the basis
for an organization to reform health care delivery, be member owned and governed, market
based, and not government financed or operated. Possibly, Wisconsin could lead the way to not
only statewide reform, but also national.
Your challenge is to come up with an innovative plan to improve an aspect of our healthcare
delivery system that you believe needs significant reform without completely undermining
existing stakeholders. To do so, you must identify a specific problem, research and analyze its
various components, and propose innovative solutions to improve it. As you develop your
project, be sure to communicate with several interested parties so you can incorporate their
insights into your thinking.
As Catalyst 300 students, are you willing to take on this challenge? It will not be easy. There will
be unforeseen pitfalls and risks, but also substantial benefits. The potential is enormous. Are
you up for it?
Reference resources provide a starting point for your research projects.
Credo Reference provides hundreds of encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, and more in one place. Below is a sample of keyword searches in Credo Reference related to this topic:
Call Numbers and Subject Headings
You can use the list of call numbers and subject headings below as keyword searches in our catalog and databases, or you can go to these sections of the library to find books on these topics.
- R200-RA400 Medicine
Books from Lane Library
The books in this list are located either in the Franzen Center on Floor 3A or as an e-book.
- The Guide to Healthcare Reform / KF 3605 .G485 2015
- Why We Revolt: a Patient Revolution for Careful and Kind Care / R727 .45 .M56 2020
- Modern Healthcare Delivery: Deliverance or Debacle / R858 .Z46 2020
- Fragmented: A Doctor’s Quest to Piece Together American Healthcare / RA395 .A3 Y87 2023
- Losing Our Way in Healthcare: The Impact of Reform / RA412.2 .C36 2015
- The Healing of America / RA395.A3 R435 2009
- RX for healthcare reform / RA395.A3 T455 2007
- Six countries, six reform models–the healthcare reform experience of Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and Taiwan : healthcare reforms “under the radar screen” / e-book
- New perspectives in healthcare : impacts of regulation, organization, reform and change in the United States health system / e-book
- Humanizing Healthcare Reforms / e-book
- America’s healthcare transformation : strategies and innovations / e-book
- The healthcare fix: universal insurance for all Americans / e-book
- A better choice : healthcare solutions for America / e-book
- Health care politics, policy, and services : a social justice analysis / e-book
- The Affordable Care Act : a missed opportunity, a better way forward / e-book
Search terms for additional books in Lane Library’s catalog:
Discovery Search: Search Lane Library’s books, ebooks, and articles in one place.
Books from other libraries
The following databases are useful places to search for Healthcare-related articles. Contact a librarian if you would like more information on how to search for articles on your specific topic.
- Academic Search Complete: Wide range of academic disciplines, including for scholarly and popular journals.
- New York Times: Access to news and archival content from NY Times. If you run into a paywall, here is more information on how to sign up.
- ProQuest Research Library: Includes both popular and scholarly periodicals covering a variety of subjects, with over 3300 titles available in full text.
- ProQuest Social Science Journals: Social science topics.
Get articles from other libraries
If you cannot find a full-text version of the article you need, request it through interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan is a free service that allows you to borrow books and articles from other libraries. Find answers to frequently asked questions about ILL here.
Government Sources, Statistics, and Websites
The Department of Health and Human Services mission is to enhance the well-being of all Americans.