More blood than that

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Letters -

Ihave to agree with the state­ment on in­sur­ance com­pa­nies (“… noth­ing new …,” Let­ters, March 15, p. 34). As the ad­min­is­tra­tor of a free-stand­ing am­bu­la­tory surgery cen­ter, I’ve had a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence in ne­go­ti­at­ing in­sur­ance con­tracts for our fa­cil­ity fee over the past 18 months.

I have to fight and fight to even get close to Medi­care rates, and to this day, not one of my con­tracts fully pays Medi­care rates across the board. I save th­ese com­pa­nies a lot of money com­pared with what they would pay if the pa­tient had the same pro­ce­dure in a hospi­tal, but they want more blood than that; it is un­eth­i­cal across the board.

I pro­vide an in­cred­i­ble ser­vice with topof-the-line qual­ity of care with ex­cel­lent out­comes. At least the CMS has done enough due dili­gence to an­a­lyze what it costs to do per case. But for some rea­son, all the com­pa­nies don’t seem to care that I have to pay staff to do the work and pro­vide in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, in­sur­ance and other over­head items.

We are con­cerned about the fu­ture of the CMS, but I project the in­sur­ance com­pa­nies will be the ones putting us out of busi­ness first. What a shame since ASCs have proven them­selves over and over to pro­vide pa­tients with high-qual­ity, con­ve­nient and les­s­ex­pen­sive op­tions for surgery. As most in­sur­ance com­pa­nies are pri­vate in­dus­try, ba­si­cally it is their way or no way, no mat­ter how much we ben­e­fit them and the pa­tients.

Linda Bed­well Reg­is­tered nurse Cen­tral Florida Re­gional Ad­min­is­tra­tor

As­cent Health­care Ad­vi­sors Bran­don (Fla.) Am­bu­la­tory Surgery Cen­ter fruition from the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion.

When ex­am­ined through the lens of a jobs bill, the cur­rent health­care pro­posal can only be viewed as an im­ped­i­ment to job cre­ation, at best, or a job killer, at worst. The rea­son for this con­clu­sion is the cur­rent health­care pro­posal will re­sult in in­creased deficit spending be­cause of un­funded tax cred­its and health in­sur­ance pur­chase sub­si­dies, and health in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums will con­tinue their up­ward march.

Health­care oc­cu­pies a place in the econ­omy that it did not 30 years ago be­cause we have al­lowed our­selves to pay far too much for it. This is not the fault of the in­sur­ance com­pa­nies. It is be­cause the cost of health­care con­tin­ues to rise unchecked. Of course, there are other con­tribut­ing fac­tors, but the ris­ing cost of health­care is the un­der­ly­ing driver. The only health­care bill worth con­sid­er­ing is the one that caps and re­duces the cost of health­care. All oth­ers are ex­er­cises in fu­til­ity that will serve only to make a bad sit­u­a­tion worse.

To have a vi­able jobs bill that will foster not only job growth, but also strong eco­nomic growth across the econ­omy, it is es­sen­tial that the cost of health­care be ad­dressed. David S. Clu­ley

Pres­i­dent Michi­gan As­so­ci­a­tion of Health Un­der­writ­ers

Grand Rapids

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