This article from the New Yorker is long, but should be required reading for every educated American.
If I may summarize here (please read the whole thing), the article suggests that a focused and holistic approach to the healthcare of the neediest (ie, costliest) healthcare users can bring about significant declines in the net expense for for both that needy subset AND the whole of the population.
Apparently, a few high demand patients can contribute a massively disproportionate amount to the total health care expenses of the broad population.
The article also teases out some other threads of interest to this blog: questionable care at the hands of doctors, the business-ification of health care, even the tension between the individual and the group referenced in the prior post.
The amazing success of some of these small scale projects, taken together with a recent NPR story I heard about Kaiser-Permanente and their model predicated on paying doctors fixed salaries with a bonus instead of a "bill for service" and the efficacy of this approach leads me to believe that we have real and scalable solutions to our health care mess at hand, but need a strong, collective push to get the nation on board.