Monday, January 20, 2014

ACA - Former CEO, America's Medical System Rewards Bad Outcomes

For the record, I have Kaiser Senior Advantage (Medicare) coverage now, and my family had been covered by Kaiser for decades.  Also note that Kaiser incorporated much of the ACA standards BEFORE it existed.

"Former health care CEO argues America's medical system rewards bad outcomes" PBS Newshour 1/17/2014


JUDY WOODRUFF (Newshour):  No matter how you feel about the health care law known as the Affordable Care Act, many experts agree we are entering a critical time that will test ideas about what may or may not work when it comes to changing the health care system.

While much of the debate surrounding Obamacare centers on coverage and penalties, parts of the law are designed to see if costs can be reduced and spending slowed down further.

One large insurer, Kaiser Permanente, has already incorporated into its model some of these ideas, including an emphasis on prevention, a greater use of electronic records, and changing how doctors are paid, including coordinating how patients are treated through team care.  Kaiser employs 17,000 doctors, owns more than 35 hospitals and has annual revenues of $50 billion.

Its record has been the subject of both praise and criticism.

And its just-departed CEO, George Halvorson, has had a distinct voice in all of these issues.  He is out with a new book titled "Don't Let Health Care Bankrupt America."  And he joins me now.

Welcome to the NewsHour.

GEORGE HALVORSON, former CEO of Kaiser Permanente:  Thank you for having me.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  So, this new health care law has rolled out.  And you have a unique perspective on it.  Unlike most Americans, you have been involved in health care management your entire career.  You just, as we said, stepped down from running the nation's biggest nonprofit health care and hospital system.

What does it look like to you?

GEORGE HALVORSON:  Well, we are the only industrialized country that hasn't covered everyone.  Everything else has universal insurance.

And we are way overdue.  This is the right thing for us to do.  We need to cover everyone.  We are now in the process of rolling out an attempt to do that, and there have been a few challenges in the process.  It hasn't been entirely supported and it hasn't been done perfectly, but it is directionally very correct.  This is the right thing to do.

We do need to cover everyone.  And we need to get this right.

No comments: