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The Fragmentation of U.S. Health CareCauses and Solutions$
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Einer Elhauge

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195390131

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390131.001.0001

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Why We Should Care About Health Care Fragmentation and How To Fix It

Why We Should Care About Health Care Fragmentation and How To Fix It

(p.1) 1 Why We Should Care About Health Care Fragmentation and How To Fix It
The Fragmentation of U.S. Health Care

Einer Elhauge

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes all the other chapters and links them to a general theory of team production in health care. It defines what fragmentation means, the four levels at which it operates, and shows that it worsens health outcomes and costs. It explains why economic theories of firms and team production confirm the conclusion that there is excessive fragmentation in U.S. health care. The chapter explores various causes of fragmentation, concluding that the underlying causes are legal. Finally, the chapter recommends certain reforms that grow directly out of the analysis, including lifting manifold legal obstacles to integrated care, subsidizing preventive care and the creation of a common system of medical records, and paying health care organizations either by the amount of medical benefit they produce or by the number of enrollees they attract, with adjustments for the relevant health risks.

Keywords:   fragmentation, team production, health care economics, payment law, medicine, organization

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