August 17, 2009

August 17: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Transcript of President Obama’s Town Hall Meeting on Health Care

Now what’s been done here in Grand Junction, in other outstanding health programs like Mayo, is they started to change the delivery system so that you’re actually getting more bang for your health care dollar…Now, it’s not going to happen overnight, because a lot of these systems have been put in place for a long time. And if you’re in Grand Junction or Mayo Clinic or Geisinger or other of these really good health care systems, what they’ve done is each year they are continually comparing notes, they’ve got a peer review process where doctors are exchanging ideas, and they’re continually making the system better and better, smarter and smarter, and over time what we can do is bend the cost curve so that instead of having inflation go up a lot faster on health care than everything else, it matches everything else.


Wall Street Journal, 8/15/09


No Death Panels at Cleveland Clinic

You don't need to kill old people to hold down health care costs. Reform the health delivery system and reduce the burden of disease…Ignore the town hall clamor. Don't rush out to buy health care shares like United HealthGroup or Aetna. Instead, listen to Delos M. Cosgrove, the CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit health center that should become the model for the change our health care system requires…Clearly, the nation needs to learn more about how medical care is provided at blue ribbon institutions like Cleveland and Mayo as models for keeping control of health care costs in delivering services to an aging population. Note well that Cleveland and Mayo are nonprofit health centers used by enlightened patients requiring the highest quality of care.


Forbes by Robert Lenzner 8/14/09



ABMS and NQF Convene Summit on Enhancing Physician Performance: Stakeholders Agree Board Certification Should Play Bigger Role in Healthcare Quality Improvement

While the healthcare reform debate heated up on Capitol Hill, key stakeholders meeting across town agreed that efforts to improve healthcare quality must be stepped up significantly, and that board certification must play an enhanced role in leading the way. "Enhancing Physician Performance: Board Certification in a Quality-Driven World," a two-day summit and call to action convened by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the National Quality Forum (NQF), featured a variety of participants, from physician leaders and consumer advocates to insurance executives and government representatives.


"At Mayo, all physicians must be board certified and maintain that certification," said speaker Richard Berger, MD, PhD, dean, Mayo School of Continuous Professional Development, professor of orthopedics at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Mayo physicians "are incorporating MOC into their daily activities so it's literally part of the culture. Physicians then make meaningful improvements and everyone wins - boards, physicians, systems and, most of all, patients."


Houston Chronicle, 8/17/2009


Key Feature Of Obama Health Plan May Be Out

The Washington Post

Aug. 17, 2009

Racing to regain control of the health-care debate, two top administration officials signaled Sunday that the White House may be willing to jettison a controversial government-run insurance plan favored by liberals.

Additional coverage:

‘Public Option’ in Health Plan May Be Dropped, The New York Times
White House Backs Away From Public Health Care Option, Politico

Chances Dim for a Public Plan, The Wall Street Journal


Why We Need Health Care Reform

The New York Times

Aug. 16, 2009


An op-ed by Barack Obama.




Medicare Test Pays for Hospital Performance
The Wall Street Journal
Aug. 17, 2009


A pilot project by Medicare that links hospital payments to the quality of care has helped prevent infections in pneumonia patients and cut death rates in heart-attack patients, according to data.


Wellness/Chronic Care


Dispute Widens on Merits of Health Tests

The Boston Globe
Aug. 17, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan agency that estimates the cost of legislation, said this month that expanding the use of preventive measures and screening tests would actually lead to “higher, not lower, medical spending overall’’ - a finding that gives Republicans ammunition to oppose the president’s proposal.

People Without a Connection to a Primary Care Doctor Don't Proactively Manage Health

Health Populi

Aug. 17, 2009


IBM found that people without a regular source of primary care are less trusting in the health system, and are less likely to proactively manage health. This lack of a regular PCP relationship, or medical home, breeds poorer outcomes and higher costs.


State news


Tennessee Experiment's High Cost Fuels Health-Care Debate

The Wall Street Journal
Aug. 17, 2009


TennCare, the plan enacted in the mid-1990s to cover the Tennessee's uninsured through a public insurance program which nearly bankrupted the state, is fueling national debate about a public option.


Reform efforts


Competing Ads on Health Care Plan Swamp the Airwaves

The New York Times

Aug. 15, 2009


A cascade of commercials in the health care fight is helping to create a full-blown national political campaign.


Four Lessons: Grand Junction Stands Out in the Healthcare Reform Debate

HealthLeaders Media

Aug. 17, 2009

The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care rates Grand Junction as having one of the "most efficient medical communities in the nation" and cites four lessons Grand Junction can offer the national reform debate.

Checking In With Denver Health CEO Patricia Gabow On A "Model" Health Care System

Kaiser Health News
Aug. 14, 2009


An interview with Denver Health CEO Patricia Gabow, who credits much of her organization’s efficiency and quality to the "lean" model of integrated care, which is based on Toyota's production system.


Economic View: A Public Option Isn’t a Curse, or a Cure

The New York Times
Aug. 16, 2009


An insurance option run by the government would neither invigorate nor destroy the health care system.


Former Gov. Dean Calls Public Option Indispensable

AP/The Washington Post
Aug. 17, 2009


Former Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, a leading figure in the liberal wing of his party, said Monday he doubts there can be meaningful health care reform without a direct government role.


Obama Administration


Emanuel Wields Power Freely, and Faces the Risks

The New York Times
Aug. 15, 2009


Rahm Emanuel is emerging as possibly the most influential White House chief of staff in a generation.


Health Information Technology


HHS Takes On Health Records

The Washington Post

Aug. 17, 2009


The Department of Health and Human Services is almost certain to take on responsibility for creating the criteria used to decide what health records technologies qualify for billions of dollars in reimbursements to medical offices under a new stimulus program, officials said.




Tags: healt, Health Policy, Health Policy

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