The Affordable Care Act: A case study for understanding and applying complexity concepts to health care reform

D. Justin Larkin, R. Chad Swanson, Spencer Fuller, Denis Cortese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale, aims and objectives The current health system in the United States is the result of a history of patchwork policy decisions and cultural assumptions that have led to persistent contradictions in practice, gaps in coverage, unsustainable costs, and inconsistent outcomes. In working toward a more efficient health system, understanding and applying complexity science concepts will allow for policy that better promotes desired outcomes and minimizes the effects of unintended consequences. Methods This paper will consider three applied complexity science concepts in the context of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): developing a shared vision around reimbursement for value, creating an environment for emergence through simple rules, and embracing transformational leadership at all levels. Results and conclusions Transforming the US health system, or any other health system, will be neither easy nor quick. Applying complexity concepts to health reform efforts, however, will facilitate long-term change in all levels, leading to health systems that are more effective, efficient, and equitable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

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Keywords

  • complexity science
  • health care policy
  • health care reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy

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