Wednesday, March 28, 2012

So What To Do About Healthcare

In the face of almost certain defeat for Team Obama and Obamacare what laws should be passed or changed to address the healthcare costs employers and citizens face?

1. If Obama truly wanted this to be about INTERSTATE commerce allow all insurance companies to cross state lines and sell their products. The government allows that practice in Medicare Part D.

2. Create larger pools of available insureds to shop for their insurance. Right now companies are treated individually and cannot combine to purchase insurance for the most part.

3. Continue coverage for children to age 26. Most are healthy and it shouldn't raise premium rates that much.

4. Allow patients to shop hospitals from a database that allows charges and outcomes for healthcare delivered by the hosiptal to be posted.

5. Encourage healthy lifestyles to curb the need for reactive healthcare in the first place.

6. Get electronic medical records in place NOW. Allow physicians to see your entire medical profile in one place for better care planning. Encourage this cost saving technology innovation.

7. Ten percent of the population consumes 63 percent and one percent consume 20 percent of the total health-care dollars in this country. Fifty percent of them consume nothing at all. Healthcare professionals have to get a better handle and get those 10 percenters under better control to reduce healthcare spending.

8. Tort reform. Whether you believe it or not physicians practice defensive medicine. While actual medical malpractice awards may be less or around one percent of healthcare costs the procedures, x-rays, and scans ordered to maintain a proper defense should the need arise add much more to those costs.

9. Be careful when you get hung up on the profit side of healthcare. Lehigh Valley and Geisinger didnt' build their institutions with losses. Most profits go to technology advances when you are talking about providers. Focus on insurer profits. They don't add to the system in a meaningful way. Blue Cross took its profits and put them aside rather than to work.

10. The emergency room is exactly that. It is not for the common cold, the flu, or aches and pains. It is for true emergencies.

11. Have people pay for their medical care first. Having a card in the pocket makes it too easy to waste healthcare dollars. Reimburse them after they shop for their healthcare like they do most other purchases.

12. Obamacare will do nothing to lower the cost of insurance. Competition will. Making insurers and healthcare providers compete for your business will go a long way to lowering those costs.

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