Berwick thinks it's going to take a large investment of government monies to improve quality at these hospitals.
"We ought to, as a nation, regard improvement of health care as a public good," Berwick said. "It's not just a matter of market pressures, but it's something we invest in as a society. We are a nation that needs public sector health care. We need health care to be just, and that means we need safety-net systems, and that means we need to help them."
For more on Medicaid, visit the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.