Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Physicians enjoy a year-end rush

Physicians enjoy a year-end rush
This show the failure of high deductibles.
Managed Care through the HMO model failed. High deductibles are failing too. This article shows how this wastes resources as well as how it punishes the sick and poor. This year end rush is like getting a government grant and doing a year end spending spree because of the use it or lose it way the grant works. Take the insurance company model out of health care and we can fix this mess. Create one single source of payment and provide universal access to health care without all the managing and blaming patients or docs for overuse and we can avoid all the waste in our system today - saving 30% which will allow universal access.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Lean Health

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hospitals ill from more bad debt, credit troubles - Yahoo! News

Hospitals ill from more bad debt, credit troubles - Yahoo! News
"Around the country, while some hospitals still are doing well, closings and bankruptcies seem to be picking up.
In New Jersey, where 47 percent of hospitals posted losses in 2007, five of the 79 acute-care hospitals closed this year, and a sixth may close soon. In Hawaii, nearly every hospital is in trouble, with two filing for bankruptcy and one nearly closing recently.
All over, hospitals are cutting costs by outsourcing services like housekeeping and security and trimming staff through layoffs, hiring freezes and attrition. Most are trying not to touch patient care jobs — nurses, pharmacists, therapists and X-ray technicians — as those already have staff shortages.
"The last thing we can do is skinny down our staffing right where we need it the most," said Mike Killian, marketing vice president for the three Beaumont Hospitals in suburban Detroit. "

We are all paying for this in getting sicker before we seek care and/or in higher cost for our medical bills and our insurance premiums. Closer to home we see dramatic increases in charity care. We are in need of a bail out and a nationalization of the health insurance industry.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

RAM, the uninsured, and the underinsured

RAM, the uninsured, and the underinsured
"Even though universal health insurance under a single-payer system would provide all Americans with medical, dental, eye care, and psychological treatment at a cost substantially lower than what we now pay for private insurance, we don't care. We have been brainwashed by conservatives in the Bush Administration and in Congress who claim it would be "socialized medicine."

Such thinking is shoddy and immoral. We have had Medicare for decades and it has not led us into socialism. On the contrary, the medical profession has thrived in under Medicare. Now it is time for Americans to start caring about one-another and provide Medicare for all of our people."

CJOnline Blogs - Roy: Prospects rising for better health care delivery

CJOnline Blogs - Roy: Prospects rising for better health care delivery
" Our problem isn't money, it's trying to deliver care through scores of money-making private health insurance companies."
This opinion piece is by a retired Kansas Congressman/Doctor.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Medicaid applicants grow as recession widens

AP : Winona Daily News
This is the Catch 22 that so many just don't get. Too many think that Welfare is used by lazy people who can make it on their own if forced to. Most expense is actually medical bills and most of that is for the elderly and disabled. Now more and more people need to turn to the government for medical help and this is the time that so many politicians turn first to the poor to cut. So coverage, eligibility and benifits are proposed to be cut at the same time as those in need increase. Guess it is OK to bail out the guys who come to meetings in their private jets but at the same time cut services to the laid off workers.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New fault line forms in health care fight - Chris Frates - Politico.com

New fault line forms in health care fight - Chris Frates - Politico.com

This article outlines some of the issues between two parts of the health care reform movement.

Analysis of Choices for How to Cover the Uninsured

This Kaiser paper looks at options for how to cover the uninsured. It has some useful information. I continue to be disappointed with the many, many good intentioned people and groups, (like this one maybe), who write off single payer (Medicare for All) as not politically feasible. Bailing out banks, insurance companies and the auto industry is now politically feasible. Why not the health care mess. Nationalize the health insurance industry.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Remove the Middle Man!

Look very carefully at the role the insurance companies have played in our current healthcare crisis. Today’s health insurance industry is BIG BUSINESS. The companies make huge profits and their CEOs make millions,while the rest of us, employers and workers alike, face skyrocketing healthcare costs, impossible bureaucracy, and life-diminishing insurance denials.
1. UnitedHealth Group -- $ 4,654 BILLION. UnitedHealth Group owns Oxford,PacifiCare, IBA, AmeriChoice, Evercare, Ovations, MAMSI and Ingenix, ahealthcare data company
2. WellPoint -- $ 3,345 BILLION. Wellpoint owns BLUES across the US,including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia,Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin, Empire HealthChoice Assurance, HealthyAlliance, and many others
3. Aetna Inc. -- $ 1,831 BILLION
4. CIGNA Corp -- $ 1,115 BILLION
5. Humana Inc. -- $ 834 million
6. Coventry Health Care -- $626 million. Coventry owns Altius, Carelink,Group Health Plan, HealthAmerica, OmniCare, WellPath, others
7. Health Net -- $ 194 million
The huge insurance company profits could provide healthcare for the entire U.S., and pay physicians adequately for their work.
Get the insurance companies OUT of healthcare. The solution is a non-profit, single-payer healthcare system – and the single payer should not be an insurance company or a group of insurance companies.

Monday, December 8, 2008

5 misconceptions about health care

5 misconceptions about health care
A good article on the need to do something major now and not wait. They miss some things concerning the role insurance companies play in driving up cost and the red tape cost of multiple payer system not only in the insurance companies but in the providers business offices.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Recession afflicting metro-area hospitals

Recession afflicting metro-area hospitals
This is part of the crisis that can help motivate change. We need to make major changes in how hospitals are funded.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Making sense of health care becomes a new career

Making sense of health care becomes a new career
We know that of the three ways to finance health care - Managed Care, High Deductibles and Single Payer - we are now seeing all sorts of high deductibles being pushed by insurance companies, employers and polititicians. This article shows that there is even more money to be made in this high deductible -- health savings accounts mess -- it is so complex a consultant needs to be hired.
On the same day we see that the biggest insurance company is now selling insurnace insurance. They are making money by taking advantage of fear generated by the threat of losing insurance. The harder it is to get medical care paid for the more likely people who have some money will be to buy this crap.