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Don Berwick, M.D., President Obama's nominee to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is a consumer-oriented advocate for Patient-Centered Care and has long been an advocate for an improvement in the quality of health care and for giving patients a greater say in the decisions made regarding their medical care.

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What "Patient-Centered" Care Should Mean


Blog Category:
4/1/2010
Richard J. Habiger, J.D.
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I ran across an interesting article about Don Berwick, M.D., President Obama's nominee to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Dr. Berwick is a consumer-oriented advocate for "Patient-Centered Care" and has long been an advocate for an improvement in the quality of health care and for giving patients a greater say in the decisions made regarding their medical care. In an article published May 19, 2009 on the Health Affairs Web site, “What ‘Patient-Centered’ Should Mean: Confessions Of An Extremist”, Dr. Berwick asserted that there should be “a radical transfer of power and a bolder meaning of ‘patient-centered care,’ whether in a medical home or in the current cathedral of care, the hospital.”  The article about Dr. Berwick states: "Traditionally, the medical community has seen the question of patient-centered care through the lens of [the medical provider]. Berwick argued for a more “consumerist” approach in which the power belongs to the patient as customer, not to the medical profession as producer. An ideal medical practice, he said, would give patients not just what they “need,” but also what they “want.”



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