More blood than that
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