CEOs share insight into health spending, reform

In separate interviews with news outlets, former Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson and Blue Shield of California CEO Paul Markovich discuss how to curb healthcare spending and where they think healthcare reform is headed.

"We need to have the healthcare business system focus on improving care," George Halvorson (pictured right), told PBS Newshour. "And right now, the way the system is set up, it basically rewards bad outcomes. It rewards infections."

He added that the healthcare system is set up based on "very perverse set of incentives," which leads to spending too much money on care without achieving quality outcomes. But "when we change the incentives, care delivery will follow the incentives."

Essentially, Halvorson told PSB Newshour, the industry should "focus on doing systematic things to identify people at high risk, and then we need to support those people in minimizing their risk."

Meanwhile, Markovich (pictured left) told the Los Angeles Times when he started working for Blue Shield as director of product management with a focus on marketing and sales, the insurer was struggling. "It was a classic health insurance plan that had lost a lot of membership to upstart HMOs," he said.

Since his time at the helm of Blue Shield, Markovich has embraced healthcare reform and believes health insurance exchanges will eventually achieve success. "Exchanges and health plans in California and across the country have been overwhelmed by last-minute volume and deadline extensions, which is causing serious delays," Markovich said. "I believe we will work through all of this soon and ultimately make the Affordable Care Act a success," he told the LA Times.

To learn more:
- read the PBS Newshour article
- see the Los Angeles Times article

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