After reading the article about the Davis schools that are subject to Program Improvement this year under No Child Left Behind, I have a plan to improve medical care in this country. I call it No Patient Left Behind. My goal is to have every American perfectly healthy by 2020.
In order to achieve this goal, NPLB will require all Americans who use health care services to be tested for blood pressure and cholesterol every year. The results should be filed with the state, and the average results for all clinics and medical practices should be available on the Internet.
Clinics that serve low-income people must show improvements in average cholesterol and blood pressure rates every year, or they will be required to comply with strict Program Improvement rules for treating these conditions. However, medical practices that do not serve many low-income people will not be required to go into Program Improvement regardless of the health status of their patients.
After three years, clinics that cannot show steady improvement in average blood pressure and cholesterol measures will be subject to corrective action. If the clinic is not meeting NPLB improvement targets by year four, all or most staff may be replaced (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ti/nclbpireq.asp).
Yes, the way to solve medical problems in this country is to fire all the doctors whose low-income patients do not show adequate yearly progress in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Obviously, this kind of accountability is working out really well for education, so I am sure NPLB will make a positive difference in the medical field as well.