Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Harry Jacobson as its Distinguished Healthcare Executive-in-Residence for 2013. The former Vanderbilt University Medical Center CEO and vice chancellor for health affairs will be lending his expertise and instructional talents to students enrolled in Belmont’s new Healthcare MBA (HCMBA) program for working professionals. The HCMBA program was officially launched earlier this fall and has already enrolled its first cohort of students.
National Healthcare Decisions Day April 16, 2010
Many Americans are unaware of a National Day to promote the early development of plans for you and your loved ones during specific medical necessities and adverse situations. April 16, 2008 was the first day the US designed to promote awareness and the need for Americans to discuss and (hopefully) execute medical decision-making plans for their families. What is an advance directive?
With the debates and maneuvering constantly occurring in Congress, our healthcare system is still limping along with a very costly price tag. As of yet, we still do not have a consensus of what the US should do to improve (and dare I say, cure) our system. So why not go Dutch? (see picture above of Amsterdam Academic Medical Center, Netherlands)
Haitian Earthquake Culminates in Tremendous Humanitarian and Medical Needs: US Problems Pale in Comparison to the Needs of Others!
As the debate over healthcare reform and the US economy continues to be the hot topic of discussion, many believe that these are (or were) the most important issues on everyone’s mind. However, when you look at the destruction and devastation from the earthquake in Haiti that has affected so many, our problems in the US pale in comparison to the problems for the Haitian population and the ongoing relief efforts.
As the debate over healthcare reform continues to come to a pressure point, especially during the holiday season, many individuals are wondering what type of reform will eventually prevail. Several noted authors and esteemed colleagues within the health profession have indicated that right now, doing nothing may be better than passing a very expensive piece of legislation that could drastically affect the current system and actually harm more individuals both in access and costs than those it will help. There are those that vehemently advocate the demand side of the equation where patients, employers, and the government have strong control over the entire system. Conversely, there are those on the opposite side that strongly support the supply side of the equation where physicians, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurance plans, and (of course) the government have strong control over the entire system. Each of these perspectives have many advantages and disadvantages for both the self interest of the organizations as well as the patients, customers and society.
I recently attended a health benefits enrollment information session at my university. The purpose of the information session was to inform employees (faculty & staff) of their health benefit changes and options under the new health benefits provider and plan administrator. The administration of both the enrollment process and the monitoring of the entire program is usually placed under the organization’s human resources (HR) management department. The HR department does an outstanding job in setting up the overall program and monitoring the program’s effectiveness and smooth operations. However, they can really only control so much in that they rely heavily on the selected healthcare organization to do its job and administer the health benefits program appropriately and in a user-friendly manner.
This month’s blog will focus on the healthcare reform issue, but perhaps, from a slightly different perspective. If we examine all the different proposals and opportunities to reform the current US Healthcare system, we would find very few that actually do away with the current system and proposes to build a completely new system. Nearly all individuals who have worked in the healthcare system in a professional capacity certainly have witnessed the perverse incentives, the lack of access to basic services for many individuals, the inadequate consistency in quality, and the tremendous drain on the US economy resulting from the huge costs associated with the healthcare delivery system.
Recently a colleague sent me a link to a Slideshare presentation entitled “Healthcare Napkins for All”. The presentation created by Dan Roam and Anthony Jones depicts a simplistic and yet fairly accurate description of our healthcare reform efforts to date. The napkin presentation provides an amusing, yet straight-forward illustration of how the American taxpayer resides squarely in the middle, squeezed by the healthcare insurance companies and the healthcare provider system, while politicians continue to develop alternative plans to “improve” the failing healthcare system at the taxpayers’ expense.
All kidding aside, our healthcare system is limping along with a very expensive price tag and yet we are still in a quandary about what to do! It is interesting (and a little bit scary) to watch the contentious debate over how and if we should change our healthcare system. It is my sincere belief that if you polled most Americans they would say that they believe healthcare is a right (at least a basic set of services) and not just a privilege. I also believe most Americans would recommend, at a minimum, inclusion of the following healthcare provisions in their healthcare system:
A past article by John Goodman, President and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, indicates some major problems with the current healthcare reform initiatives by the Obama Administration. In his May 26th "Health Alert" message, Goodman states: President Obama is about to repeat that same mistake that Hillary Clinton made 15 years ago by not endorsing Bob Dole’s health bill. The smartest thing Obama could do is endorse a bill sponsored by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC), along with Reps. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Devin Nunes (R-CA), [hereinafter called the Coburn bill]. Here's why: