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Robert Pearl, MD, in the News on What Ails the American Health System


Following the recent release of his book, Mistreated: Why We Think We’re Getting Good Health Care — and Why We’re Usually Wrong, Robert Pearl, MD, has been on a media tour expressing concern for key issues in American health care, including appearances on NPR’s Morning Edition and authoring a Modern Healthcare column.

On NPR, Dr. Pearl, executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group and president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, weighed in on the Affordable Care Act and the American Health Care Act, which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives, both of which he says are focused less on “the deeper issues hurting” American health care and more on access to care. His suggestion? “The real opportunity and risk is at the delivery-system level.”

Dr. Pearl discussed the biggest problems health care faces: lack of prevention and comprehensive electronic health records. He admitted doctors are “just as stuck as patients,” burning out from time spent on billing requirements rather than improving patient care.

In the May 15 Modern Healthcare column, Dr. Pearl wrote about these problems and his desires to transform American medicine. The necessary changes are rooted in the power of perception, he says, adding: “We see intervention as more important than prevention, overlook omissions in preventive services and tolerate medical error.”

Dr. Pearl plans to donate all profits from his book to charity “to help provide access to those unable to obtain necessary care today.”

Listen to the full interview here. Read the op-ed here.

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