Who’ll be the savior?
As a healthcare executive for more than 35 years, I was struck by the many challenges facing our industry as detailed in the stories in the April 5 issue. While the cover headline talked about “For-profit saviors?” I wondered who was going to be the “savior” for the myriad of new challenges. It seems, from reading all of the stories, that we have many problems with few solutions, and fewer “saviors” who can identify solutions and even fewer who can implement them.
Look at the list of challenges:
Creating temporary high-risk pools for the uninsured in the states.
Flawed CMS oversight of the recovery audit contractor process. Not-for-profits’ capital crisis. Not-for-profit mergers stalled—they need to start looking out five to 10 years at a time when no one can predict the impact of all the changes in the next two years.
No one at the leadership helm at the CMS at a time of enormous change, new responsibilities and implementation of the healthcare bill.
Accountable-care pay models not set, after years of study. Arizona has been talking about setting a system up for a year with no resolution.
Employers to be saddled with lots more paperwork under healthcare reform.
Inability of Congress to resolve the sustainable growth-rate formula at a time they need all hands on deck to care for 32 million more patients, and more and more physicians dropping out of Medicare or limiting the number of Medicare and Medicaid patients they will see in their practices.
Conflict on who has authority to regulate scanning and imaging safety.
The Federal Communications Commission’s broadband wireless plan and crossjurisdiction issues—who is leading the effort?
The industry’s best customers (insurance plans) being demonized.
Opinion leaders going every which way about health reform—most are for it, but most don’t think it is going to work very well—state resistance, not enough primary-care physicians, physician payment not enough, etc.
Dispute among physicians, nurse practitioners, extenders, etc., over the scope of practice authority, role in care, etc., all at a time when we will need many more practitioners.
All of this in just one issue of Modern Healthcare. These are complex, serious issues. Where is the overall leadership coming from that can develop a comprehensive approach to resolving the myriad challenges to providing highquality medical care to our entire population? I just wish I had even the glimmer of an answer. Thomas H. Hansen
Consultant Scottsdale, Ariz., and Oak Park, Ill.