Friday, February 15, 2008

Two Great Valentine Gifts

Received a very nice note from several colleagues today, on Valentines Day, thanking me. I guess I just want to share that thanks with our leadership team at the hospital because of what the note said.

It read: “Thank you for the new equipment and for always trying to make sure we have everything we need to do our jobs”. Reading these words was a great gift, as were the three enclosed gift certificates for the ‘CAFÉ, one of my favorite places to eat.

Several minutes later, I received a thank you in the mail from a new patient (from Doylestown) praising our service, our Planetree environment and our compassionate caring of our colleagues. They wrote, “Through the reputation of Dr. Palutsi, we were introduced to your hospital. First impressions are always important and we were bedazzled ….as a patient and family we received wonderful care…special thanks to Barb and Dottie in Same Day care…your volunteers are also to be commended”. Sincerely S&L P.

Couldn’t ask for a nicer day.

Talk to you soon

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Interesting Articles on Health Insurers and Health Reform

Thursday, January 31
By Bill Toland, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insurer’s CEO Says Blues Deal Could Hurt Competition

Some big insurance companies in Pennsylvania are fighting for position, but what I found most interesting was the comments from James Buckley, President of the Delaware Valley Health Care Coalition, a multi-employer health purchaser. He said “he protested the lack of transparency among health insurers, saying true, healthy competition isn’t possible until the Legislature compels insurers and hospitals to be more open and accurate about the cost of procedures. The savings being touted in the IBC-Highmark wedding would be irrelevant if a transparency model is established, setting standardized hospital reimbursement rates. Instead of allowing the major health insurers to use their oligopoly power to receive preferential pricing and profits, health care providers should be able to charge reasonable prices to all health care customers.

I couldn’t have said it better.

Katherine K. Shea, Sara R. Collins, and Karen Davis
The Commonwealth Fund
January 2008

Typically I am pretty much a free market person, however I just don’t believe this has worked in healthcare. A majority of the public agree with the democratic position summarized below from the article.

Mixed Private–Public Proposals Favored
Most healthcare opinion leaders (61%) believe that the mixed private–public group insurance system reform proposals put forth by Democratic candidates are an effective approach to achieving universal healthcare coverage, with nearly two-thirds (65%) of academic leaders and half of business/insurance/other healthcare industry leaders voicing support for universal healthcare. Proposals relying on tax incentives for the individual market, however, are seen by the same experts as an ineffective method for achieving that goal, with 59% of respondents saying they were not effective. Twenty percent of polled business leaders (20%) think tax incentive-based reforms are more effective than do academic (4%) or healthcare delivery leaders (4%).

I was happy to see that most of my healthcare colleagues agreed with this position, at least in this poll.

Talk with you soon.