It is my opinion that Medicare needs to focus more on demanding quality health care from hospitals and doctors rather than simply setting fixed payments for various procedures and treatments. The fact that the current system discourages efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of care should be a green light for Medicare to start making changes.

It is important for them to get their priorities straight so hospitals can start being rewarded and not punished for providing a better quality of care. The steps that have been taken so far, such as new legislation calling for more studies on quality improvement, are just not enough. Medicare needs to encourage Congress to pass the necessary legislation in order to ensure that hospitals' efforts are not being tainted by the lack of revenue they experience when they provide their patients with effective antibiotics and shorter hospital stays.

Haley Miyatake

Salt Lake City