The way employee benefits are administered in this country needs to change, but it won’t come without resistance, Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and former 2016 Republican presidential candidate said Wednesday at an industry event in Colorado.

The resistance is likely to come from those who benefit from the programs today, such as insurers, Carson said. “It is not good for the patient or employee, but looking at what is good for themselves,” he explained. “That is something we must get away from.”

Dr. Ben Carson
Bloomberg/file photo

The current system is oriented around sickness and full of unhappy patients who have to jump through hoops to get care, Carson explained at the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers Employee Benefits Leadership Forum at The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs.

America, he said, spends twice as much per capita on healthcare than other nations because of the “bureaucracy, inefficiency and greed that exists within our system.”

Giving an example of that bureaucracy, Carson recalled when an insurer wanted to have a complex operation done in-network and not by Carson and his team. The first surgery was botched, so Carson had to do it and the insurer paid twice.

“This is a significant problem when you insert a large bureaucratic process in the way of the most important thing that someone has — which is their healthcare,” he said.

Challenge everything
Speaking in a keynote address at the conference, Carson said that not everything people do in life is successful, but the key is to learn. “Even when something doesn’t work out, if you learn from it, you make progress,” he said.

“The key in any industry, any profession is being able to take things that didn’t work and analyzing them,” he added. “Then come up with a solution.”

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