SOUND OFF: Let’s talk about health care

I love my state representative. I don’t like the state government.

I love my congressman. I’m not a fan of the federal government.

I love my physician. Do I love health care? Do I hate the health care system?

Health care, much like politics, is local. We want health care to cost less, and we want hospitality-like services, ease of access to care, and technology that simplifies our interactions with our provider.

Health systems across the country are trying to get more people to enter their organization. Whether a rural hospital, like those in the Sauk Valley, is trying to get people to “shop local,” or a regional system, like Mayo Clinic, is luring people to Minnesota, often for care that can be provided right here in the patient’s backyard.

In my role as president/CEO of Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital, I have a front-row seat to the national health debate. My hope is to interact with the Sauk Valley News readers to discuss and debate access, quality, cost, convenience, technology, and best-in-class care delivered across our nation.

That should keep us busy for a while.

I hope to use this space to create controversy around how we pay for health care. Is the cost of our health care the responsibility of our government, our employer, or the patient?

When admitted to a hospital, should the room look and feel like the patient was dropped into an executive suite at The Four Seasons, or should hospitals go back to double-occupancy rooms?

Is the quality of care provided at large, academic medical centers superior to care provided in rural hospitals (you might be able to guess my response to this one)?

What technology improves patient experience and results in better outcomes? What apps lead to healthier lives?

Should hospitals pay for patients’ air conditioning in their home if that patient suffers from a respiratory illness? Should hospitals be responsible for patient transportation to and from their facility? Should it be the hospital or doctor’s responsibility to maintain the medical record, or should that responsibility lie with the patient?

I hope at least one of these topics has caught your attention. Where do you want to start?

I’m looking forward to the conversation.

1 Comment
  • Jason Brusky
    Posted at 10:20h, 21 January Reply

    A market driven healthcare system with patients paying directly for their routine healthcare. Insurance would only be for hospitalizations and catastrophic conditions (i.e. cancer.) Costs would be transparent and as a result go down. The need for all the paperwork for billing insurance, prior authorizations, etc. would practically be eliminated. Medication costs should decline dramatically as pharmaceutical companies would have to compete openly with customers. The fact that expensive inhaled medications and insulins are less in Canada and significantly must lower in India show they can be sold for less than the $400 or so for a 30 day supply. The companies cannot afford to lose the American market, so they would find ways to bring the costs down. The downside is many workers in healthcare (likely myself included) and the insurance industry would find their jobs eliminated as a result.

Post A Comment

%d bloggers like this: