Enacting health reform is the easy part. What happens the day after?

The University of Chicago held a terrific forum on health care on Sept. 10 in Washington. It was headlined by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who said that “what we’re really talking about is transforming a system of care in America.”

So what comes next? A panel with some very smart people, including Kavita Patel from the White House Office of Public Engagement, offered their insights and a sense of how much hard work lies ahead. Some key takeaways:

1. Do we really want to reform health care, or do we want to reform the health of Americans? The latter means also tackling related issues, such as food deserts and the lack of sidewalks and open space.

2. Patients and providers need real-time data, which means we need to create information exchanges for outcomes-driven care based on objective, transparent information.

3. We need to reform the payment and incentive systems to get to better care rather than more care.

4. There is a moral imperative for health reform: the health of our community affects us. (Think SARS or H1N1.)

5. How are we going to handle the 46 million uninsured who will suddenly enter the health care pipeline?

6. When did it become socially acceptable for physicians not to take patients because they have no money?

My head’s still spinning. Your thoughts?

Photo by seiuhealthcare775nw (Flickr).