Folks, this week I decided to give you a chance in the spotlight, as many of you have had some great things to say:
On health plans, and their approach to keeping profits up:
Having worked across the industry's major segments--providers, payors, pharmas, etc.-- I continue to be astonished at the utter absence of creativity and vitality in health plans. It is as if they see providers as a labor market and have decided that the right approach is "union-busting." And yet, example after example of the superiority of multispecialty group practices suggests the way to reduce medical loss is to integrate more closely with providers and encourage them to integrate more with one another. The answers exist and they are proven to work. - Pharmacy systems supplier CEO
In response to a column in which I complained about ongoing patient dumping allegations in Los Angeles:
I admire your ambition to solve patient dumping, but this is the natural reaction to an unfair legislation called EMTALA, whereby the Hospitals are mandated to care for non-paying patients, without imposing corresponding payment obligations.
Yes, poor health is bad and it is horrible that the sick are not cared for for monetary reason. So is hunger and homelessness. However, at least for how, the government has not mandated the corresponding industries to provide food and shelter to anyone without addressing the payment issues.
So good luck fixing the problem. This problem of health insurance is the symptoms of the underlying problems with health care. So far, politicians like the presidential candidates are addressing the issue of lack of health insurance, but no one is willing to look at the problems of health care that drove up healthcare cost. - Physician
Both thoughtful responses to important problems. Now, readers, how about an articulate voice from the pharmaceutical industry on, say, why brand-name drugs should push generics off the street for years--or a health plan exec on why mass cancellations of individual plans make sense? My mailbox is open! - Anne