Do you have any examples of good ideas that were around a long time before being implemented?
How long does it seem like good ideas have to be around before they finally get implemented? I know that a quarter century ago, I was working on one good idea that I see highlighted in my paper, today.
Community health workers are designed to advocate for people’s health needs in the community. This enables folks to get care sooner and in a more effective setting, rather than waiting until they are sicker and end up in the expensive emergency room. A hospital in Philadelphia is implementing this program now, because the Affordable Care Act is changing the way hospitals get paid. If they see a patient twice in a certain number of days for the same issue, they won’t get paid the second time.
This is something that private health insurance probably couldn’t do. It would require collaboration between competing health plans, which would likely be illegal under anti-trust legislation.
Back in the day when I first learned of this idea, I was working on single payer reform. A program like community health workers is facilitated by active government participation in the health insurance arena. I don’t know if it is possible, otherwise. It’s been at least 25 years, and probably longer since I’m sure the idea wasn’t new when I learned about it.
Do you know of other ideas with such long gestation periods? Not just in health care, but technologies or anything, really. I’m trying to see whether this is a standard pattern, and it just takes a long time for ideas to become reality, or if some ideas get picked up faster than others or what.