Modern medicine has the capacity to extend and improve the quality of life in ways that previous generations could not even imagine. Yet almost half of all Americans do not receive scientifically recommended care when they see a doctor or are admitted to a hospital. Nearly 100,000 people die annually and still more suffer avoidable debility and pain from preventable medical errors. In fact, the gap between what modern medicine can deliver and what it does deliver is huge and may be getting larger.
On December 15, the Brooking Institution hosted an all-day conference to discuss both the problem and potential solutions, including easing current antitrust rules to encourage integrated delivery networks capable of implementing electronic medical records. Dr. Mark B. McClellan, a visiting senior fellow at the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies who previously served as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, delivered the luncheon address.