Posts Tagged ‘regulatory’
By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
More than three years ago, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act and President Obama signed it into law. Last year, the Supreme Court upheld it. Millions of Americans have already benefited from its provisions, and millions more are looking forward to benefits that will soon go into effect. And in November, the American people re-elected the president as an affirmation of the law’s promise that no person should go broke if they get sick.
Yet today, for nearly the 40th time since it’s been the law of the land, House Republicans staged yet another repeal vote in their latest attempt to turn back the clock on progress and deny Americans health insurance coverage they can count on.
For the 37th time, Congress is voting to repeal the health care law, the Affordable Care Act.
Learn what’s at stake for Americans if the law were repealed.
Guest article by Ray Collins
The FDA has tolerated, regulated, and now seems to favor direct-to-consumer advertising by pharmaceutical companies, apparently as part the the judicial and regulatory trends toward corporate free speech. Susan Schwartz McDonald posts at National Analysts about her company’s view
The very fact that this particular [FDA] survey [of health care professionals] is on the docket speaks volumes about what many FDA-watchers have already concluded: that the agency has morphed from wary and grudging to comfortable and upbeat about the benefit of allowing pharma to converse with patients. After several decades of experience, the FDA seems ready to conclude that direct-to-consumer advertising (DTC) can do more than bring relevant therapies to broader awareness.
I added this comment to Innovating Healthcare is Hard, an article on MedCrunch by Eugene Borukhovich.
DISRUPTIVE innovation is especially hard, because entrenched stakeholders stand to lose lots of money if things change. Even though there’s plenty of opportunity in healthcare innovation, resistance to real change is the biggest obstacle developers face.
Our nation wastes well over a trillion dollars each year, because we pretend to have a healthcare system but actually have an insurance-based, fee-for-service Disease Management system with perverse incentives (and a legal requirement) to maximize corporate profits for shareholders rather than serve society.
Follow the money, and you’ll see that our “system” doesn’t want you to die but doesn’t profit when you get well either, or when you are healthy and don’t need care. So, we treat symptoms and view patients as paying customers with the real objective of keeping them paying.
To implement disruptive change in this broken system, we should start with the most important stakeholder, the patient, and get them engaged in (1) managing their own health and (2) pressuring elected representatives to change policies that benefit corporations over individual citizens.
Wayne Caswell, Founder & Senior Editor, Modern Health Talk
Please browse our other articles on the Future of Healthcare and Health Reform and share your own perspectives below. You’ll see byline articles from many different perspectives (doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, public policy experts & pundents, and futurists).
In his 38-page TIME magazine special report, Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us, Steven Brill dives into our health care system to understand why things cost so much, avoiding the more traditional question of who pays for what. What he found was both disturbing and telling. (His 3:38 min video introduction is at the end.)
His first story starts with the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, a nonprofit facility of the University of Texas, as he follows a patient who had to prepay $48,900 for six days of testing just to determine his cancer treatment regimen, which could easily run half a million dollars. An analysis of the itemized list of confusing charges showed that they were inflated as much as 100 times over retail prices, even before the hospital’s leveraged buying power. Those costs were also way higher than what Medicare would pay for the same tests, procedures and drugs.
MD Anderson, with its 19,000 employees, is one of the city’s top-10 employers, and its CEO last year was paid $1,845,000. Four other hospitals in the 1,300-acre Texas Medical Center are also in the top-10. Clearly, healthcare is a big business, but who’s making the money if it’s not doctors, nurses and technicians? It’s the hospitals, insurance companies, drug companies, equipment providers, and testing companies. Read the rest of this entry »
By Marty Kaplan, Director, Norman Lear Center and Professor at the USC Annenberg School
“Americans are sicker and die younger
than people in other wealthy nations.”
That stark sentence appears in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, and it comes from the authors of a landmark report – “Shorter Lives, Poorer Health” — on differences among high-income countries. (Editor: This WHO Interactive Chart compares mortality rates from different causes.)
You probably already know that America spends more on health care than any other country. That was one of the few facts to survive the political food fight pretending to be a serious national debate about the Affordable Care Act.
“Real doctors. Real medicine. Really convenient.”
HealthSpot Station was prominently featured in the central lobby just as you entered the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES 2013, an honor that only the most interesting companies get.
Doctors and patients meet face-to-face like they always have, only in this case, the face-to-face is virtual: the doctor is in his home or office; the patient is seated in the kiosk; and the kiosk is located in a retail store. The HealthSpot Station kiosk allows board-certified doctors to conduct remote diagnosis and treatment using high-def videoconferencing and digital medical devices that appear behind locked doors when needed.
The Patient Accountability and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a reasonable first step in health reform, but much more needs to be done. That’s primarily because Obamacare is still dependent on health insurance, which turned health care into an industry that profits from the perverse incentives of treating patients as paying customers. This health care industry often works to keep patients as paying customers by treating their symptoms rather than providing real cures, and prescribing drugs, performing procedures, and doing unnecessary tests. Since that’s how practitioners are paid, it’s what they do.
The following videos explain how our money-driven system of medicine works, and what’s wrong with it. The video series then ends with an easy-to-understand animated explanation of Obamacare. Read the rest of this entry »
Refocusing on Health Care Opportunities That Can Make a Real Impact
By Kenneth Thorpe, Chairman, The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (original on Huffington Post)
Now that the campaign smoke has cleared, we can expect a refocusing of the nation’s arguments from the question of who will get elected to what will be done about hot-button issues like health care. Expect pitched debates to begin imminently on battlegrounds including, but certainly not limited to, Medicare reform, revisiting the Affordable Care Act, the Independent Payment Advisory Board and medical device taxes.
The fact is though, the more time policymakers spend wrangling over these issues on which there are clear, and not easily bridged partisan divides, the more we’re missing the fundamental steps that can and must be taken if we’re going to contain health care costs without compromising the quality or accessibility of care.
It begins with acknowledging what we don’t know about improving health care, and what we need to do to broaden our knowledge base. And it has to do with the more than 75 million Americans who have not one, but multiple chronic illnesses. Our health care system in this country is quite adept at treating people who have a single disease. We don’t have an effective set of best practices, or an essential foundation of research, to know how to take care of those who are coping with more than one condition.
We have the opportunity to improve this situation, and it should begin with the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI.org), the entity created by Congress to evaluate different prevention and treatment therapies and offer scientifically-supported evidence on how to provide patients with the most effective care.
By Wendell Potter, Analyst at the Center for Public Integrity, author of Deadly Spin (original on Huffington Post, slightly modified after the election)
Wouldn’t it be great if our candidates had to take a dose of truth serum every morning before hitting the campaign trail? If they did, those of us who recently voted wouldn’t be nearly as confused about what Obamacare is and what it isn’t, what it will do and what it won’t.
Since there is no such truth serum requirement, I believe that many of us actually voted against our own best interests and for candidates who scared them into believing that Obamacare is a government takeover of health care that will bankrupt the country while slashing Medicare benefits. Read the rest of this entry »