Roberts Saves Obamacare: Now the Real Work of Reform Begins
By Arianna Huffington
The narrow survival of the Affordable Care Act last week was certainly cause for celebration. But as the jubilation subsides, it’s important to realize that having avoided what would have been a giant step backward doesn’t mean we’ve taken a giant step forward. Because the law as it now stands is only the first step toward health care reform.
On Sunday’s This Week, Vicki Kennedy (Ted Kennedy’s widow) spoke movingly of how “health care reform was the cause” of her husband’s life. “He believed that it was a moral issue,” she said, “that it defined the character of who we were as a society, who we were as a country, and that decent, quality, affordable health care should be a fundamental right and not a privilege.” She went on to say, “Families can go to sleep relaxed and happy knowing that their children who have asthma or diabetes or allergies are covered by insurance and aren’t barred because they have a pre-existing condition.” Read the rest of this entry »
The following infographic shows that a typical 22 year old worker and his employer can expect to pay over $4,000,000 in his lifetime for healthcare and health insurance. That number seemed awfully high, so I created a spreadsheet model to see if I could match it. I did, and here are my assumptions.
- Starting salary at age 22 = $53,000 ($870,000/year by age 70)
- Annual salary increase = 6% compounded
- Percent of income for healthcare = 18%, increasing by 0.3% per year
I assumed a modest salary that increased at 6% compounded each year, but that’s a simplistic view since raises are larger earlier in a career and generally taper off (or even go negative) as you get older. I calculated to age 70 to account for longer lifespans and the likelihood that young people will continue working that long by then.
Source: Newswise (6/26/2012) — Nursing homes do not have to be inevitable destinations for frail older adults. Many—even those with long-term health problems—can remain at home and be independent. All it takes is a little help to change “disability” to “capability”.
A handyman with a few nails to fix a wobbly bannister can make the difference between staying at home and a nursing home stay. Visits from a nurse or occupational therapist can help simplify a bewildering medication regimen or improve the ability to get around the house and neighborhood. Simple, inexpensive steps may change the equation for thousands of seniors, but in reality, services like these are rarely available for many at greatest need—the poorest and sickest older adults receiving Medicare and Medicaid.
CAPABLE, short for “Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders,” and a $4 million Health Care Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is about to change that reality. Read the rest of this entry »
With the Supreme Court set to decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act, you might wonder just what’s in it and why it was introduced in the first place.
That’s why I’m reposting this blog article from last year, which describes a great presentation by Dr. James Rohack on Health System Reform. Rohack is a practicing cardiologist and Director of Scott & White Center for Healthcare Policy. He is also a professor at Texas A&M Health Science Center and was the president of the American Medical Association from 2009 to 2010 during debates over Obama’s Healthcare Law.
The presentation was held in Sun City, a planned community north of Austin for retirees with active lifestyles. It didn’t include handouts, but I was able to find some of Rohack’s slides online and offer them below with my notes.
Five months ago I posted a challenge on Linkedin titled, “Innovative Ideas for a Totally New Healthcare System?” and it generated a discussion that’s been active for 5 months now with over 900 responses from different perspectives worldwide.
As a fun exercise to stimulate creative, out-of-box thinking, pretend you have all been appointed to the new World Health Commission by the new King of the World (or whatever title you prefer). You have absolute power to determine health strategy, for the whole world. Think like a child, and forget the constraints you’re used to dealing with as adults. There are no financial hurdles, no political worries, no cultural barriers, no legacy to contend with, no managers looking over your shoulders, and no imposed time frames. What is it that patients, providers and society seek from healthcare? Why can’t they get that now? Starting with a completely blank canvas, what would be the objectives of the new System? Imagine potential roadblocks and how we might overcome them.
The discussion has evolved, and most participants have come in and out of it, but Clifford Thornton posted one of the longest and most thoughtful replies and gave me permission to reprint it here.
A Totally New Healthcare System
By Clifford Thornton
Wow sir, a blank sheet; this is a dynamic exercise.
I came into the healthcare field about 9 years ago from a marketing strategy business background in the cable/telecommunication industry. Let me say that I cannot think or even imagine a bigger contrast in terms of quality of service, efficiencies, level of customer satisfaction, duplication of service levels, delivery, and range/availability of services.
By David Lee Scher, MD (12/16/2011)
Patients who are discharged from the hospital after a heart attack, congestive heart failure, or pneumonia have high rates of short-term readmissions. As per a provision in the Affordable Care Act, a Medicare patient with one of these diagnoses who is readmitted within 30 days for the same will trigger a denial of reimbursement for the subsequent admission. There are many things which need to change to limit these events, though not all readmissions can be prevented, as nothing in medicine is absolute. Identification and intensive interventions (inpatient and post-discharge) with high risk patients, better communication/care coordination, discharge processes, and patient education have been shown to produce results. I would make a case for mHealth to become an integral part of all these components of a multi-faceted solution. Here are a few ways that mHealth may be incorporated in the process: Read the rest of this entry »
Harvard Business School’s Clayton M. Christensen — whose bestselling book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, revolutionized the business world — now presents The Innovator’s Prescription, a comprehensive analysis of the strategies that will improve health care and make it affordable.
In this meaty 87-min lecture at MIT, Professor Christensen explains how you can’t believe everything you learn in business school and reveals insights into such socially significant and complex industries as health care. “It’s the principles of good management that can cause successful companies to fail,” he says.
The lecture introduced concepts from his latest book, where Christensen applies his principles of disruptive innovation to the broken health care system. With collaboration from two pioneers in the field — Dr. Jerome Grossman and Dr. Jason Hwang — he examines a range of symptoms and offers proven solutions.
In The Future of U.S. Health Care, Wall Street Journal reporter Anna Wilde Mathews writes a wonderfully comprehensive report about innovation in different models of delivering healthcare with aims at containing or lowering costs.
The story includes a close look at what five people are doing to help remake the $2.6 trillion U.S. health-care industry. They include a doctor, a hospital CEO, an insurance-company official, a human-resources executive, and a patient, and each of their stories and audio interview are provided.
Qualcomm announced this week that Qualcomm Wireless Health is now Qualcomm Life, a wholly-owned subsidiary whose mission is to define and connect the global wireless health network and bring medical devices to life by securely connecting them to cloud-based services. The encrypted and HIPAA compliant bimetric data is then remotely accessible by device users, their health care providers and caregivers. (video & illustration below)