Proving the profit

Health care reform may soon happen, but it will take more to make us healthier [From our print edition featured in Monday's City Paper]
Jun 22, 2009 12:11 AM

Rationing or reform?

That's the question a panel led by Rep. Jim Cooper will try to answer next Tuesday at an event hosted by Lipscomb. Other speakers at the event examining the ethics of health care reform will include Kevin Baggett, HCA's director of clinical services, and former NFIB CEO Jack Faris.
Jun 16, 2009 12:46 PM

Guest Commentary: Curing medicine's problems

Congressman Cooper on the need for sensible reforms ahead of overheated rhetoric [From our print edition featured in Monday's City Paper]
Jun 12, 2009 4:08 PM

'Details' on the $2 trillion health cost savings plan

The trade groups and unions who last month pledged to cut billions in health care costs in coming years have rolled out a fleshed-out plan. But one commentator is oh-so skeptical.
To me the common thread though each of the 28 pages is pretty clear — "We are on track to make America's health care system more efficient and better in quality. Leave us alone. And, if you'd like to send us another $100 billion a year without a lot of strings attached that would be fine too."
Jun 1, 2009 5:58 PM

HCA exec to chair HHS committee

Jonathan Perlin, chief medical officer at the nation's largest hospital chain, will oversee the U.S. Health and Human Services Department's Health IT Standards Committee, which will make recommendations to national health IT coordinator David Blumenthal on standards for a future electronic health record. Before joining HCA in 2006, Perlin was under secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
May 22, 2009 1:15 AM

Insurers look to get an early leg up in cost-cutting debate

The health care sector's internal power struggle over where to find $2 billion in savings has begun. Health Net CEO Jay Gellert says insurers want to more closely link physician pay to measurable health standards.
I presume the reference to "mandatory" changes is there so that they'll be "scoreable" under the Congressional budget rules. I wonder, did the insurance trade association make that clear to the AHA and the AMA before they took them into the West Wing?
SEE ALSO: More of our posts on national health care reform
May 18, 2009 10:42 PM

Docs: Give us legal cover to cut costs

The American Medical Association president-elect tells the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog that the fear of being sued is a big factor in many physicians ordering that extra test someone eventually has to pay for.
Rohack cited the decades of Dartmouth research that has shown there are wide variations in care in different parts of the country, and more isn’t necessarily better — basically, doctors do lots more tests and procedures in some places than in others. The research suggests that where there are more specialists, and more fancy equipment, patients get more tests and procedures.
SEE ALSO: Coming up with $2 trillion
May 11, 2009 11:10 PM

Coming up with $2 trillion

That's what a coalition of health care industry groups say they will seek to do over the next decade. The push to cut costs out of the health sector has even united the American Hospital Association and the SEIU, which has been pushing nurses to organize around the country.
On a Sunday conference call, senior administration officials hailed the effort as "a game changer" in the health care debate. "I don't think there can be a more significant step to helping struggling families and to help the federal budget," said one aide. "It just makes it even clearer than ever that health reform is going to happen this year in the Congress," added another. The effort, which those familiar with the plan say will aim for greater care coordination, lower administrative costs and the bundling of payments among health care providers and recipients, could result in a three percent reduction of gross domestic product by the year 2019. That year alone, the industry could save $700 billion. On a more personal level, White House aides project that after five years a family of four could be saving $2,500 a year.
SEE ALSO: From the Journal, a look at the first major obstacle to the plan. And via change:healthcare's blog, a myopic, in-the-trenches debate about incentivizing patients to help cut costs.
May 11, 2009 8:34 AM

Rick Scott's still spending

The advocacy group headed by the former Columbia/HCA chief is planning to saturate the CNN and Fox News airwaves with a series of ads chronicling the supposed U.S. slide toward government-run health care. SEE ALSO: Thanks for the support, but no so loud, Rick
Apr 27, 2009 11:14 PM

Docs without a plan

And how they could thwart the effectiveness of any plan to institute universal care.
Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, says that 11% of the doctors at his medical center don’t participate in Aetna or Blue Cross, which means some of his patients can’t afford to go to the top specialists in the NYU system.
Apr 17, 2009 3:05 PM