July 27th, 2016
Posted by Caroline Popper, M.D., M.P.H.
In a conceptual model of healthcare originally proposed by William Kissick, MD, there are three competing issues that enter into any dialogue on how to improve our healthcare system. The three sides of this Iron Triangle of Healthcare are quality, access, and cost. Constant trade-offs have to be made since the classic approach to health economics dictates that you can improve any one – or perhaps even two – of these elements, but only at the expense of the third.
The model states that you can advance the quality of a product or service, making it better for a higher price. Or you can create a lower cost alternative for as many people as possible, but that inevitably means that quality suffers. Each choice has its own set of sociopolitical implications that must be weighed against each other. Read the rest of this entry »