On Tuesday, I attended a healthcare forum. It was not sponsored by any elected official. It was hosted by Village Health Partners, a physician practice, and the Texas Medical Association. It was billed as a patient-doctor discussion of health care. The forum was civil and interesting.
Today, The Healthcare Blog had a post entitled, “Health Care Reform: What do People Really Want?” and it is authored by Humphrey Taylor, Chairman of The Harris Poll. It is worth a read.
To add to the discussion, at the forum that I attended, the themes at this event can be summarized in the following manner:
- Limit government involvement. Not many attending this forum were interested in more government involvement in running healthcare.
- Tort reform. Part of the reform needs to include the lawsuits that occur. Today, this drives portion of the cost that everyone pays in receiving care.
- Insurance reform. This part of the discussion centered on the willingness of people to pay for “maintenance services” on their well-being. Just as with an auto, people pay for basic maintenance. Insurance then can cover the unexpected or catastrophic type events that impact individuals.
- Personal responsibility. Along with the insurance discussion was an imperative that people take responsibility for their health.
- Healthcare interoperability. To my surprise, healthcare interoperability came up as a reform item. The two examples were given. First, since a specialist could not get access to blood test results taken by another physician, they did the test again. Second, without a consolidated view of a person’s health record, diagnosing a treatment was problematic. Communication of health information between providers was recognized as an area for improvement and cost reduction.
This is the type of discussion that needs to continue to take place. A perfect example of why people are skeptical about government involvement came at the end of this session.
There were two state representatives attending, and they were given the opportunity to stand up and say a few words at the end. One of the politicians stood up and said “we cannot trust politicians to…” Think about that statement… a politician stating that they cannot be trusted. The double-speak and playing the situation is why the debate has taken the turns it has.
- CEO Editorials and Insights on Health Care Reform – Additional Insights from CEOs on Health Care Reform
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