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Archive for the ‘Health Care Reform’ Category

Obama’s Aggressive Agenda for Healthcare Reform

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Word has is that President Obama wants a vote on his health care reform plan before Congress recesses for summer.  It is an aggressive timeline …

Our health care reform gold star of the week goes to Congressman John Hall who proposes that Congress itself participate in whatever health care plan is passed .  Congressman Hall subscribes to the theory – if it’s good enough for you., it’s good enough for us  Hat’s off to him for this proactive approach for staving off critics of the yet to be fully designed plan.

Our health care reform black mark of the week goes to Richard Scott; founder of Columbia/HC who has formed the group Conservatives for Patients Right and raised nearly $20 million to fight President Obama’s plan.  Keep in mind that Mr. Scott is the same man who was ousted from the company he founded after the FBI raided five Columbia Hospitals and three executives were indicted for systemic Medicare fraud.  Seems that he’s the wrong guy to be telling us we’re wrong in trying to fix this mess he helped create.

The bottom line is that fixing health care is key to righting the economy.  They are inextricably intertwined.  We cannot move forward without some kind of health care reform.  Obama’s plan may not be perfect, might not even be close, but at least it is a start.  And you have to start somewhere.

New Crisis Looming: COBRA Declinations Abound

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

It seems that there is a new health care crisis looming -one we may not have seen coming.  The average monthly COBRA bill for a family is almost $1500.  And the newly unemployed simply can’t afford it.  Sometimes, the monthly unemployment insurance is less than that. Only a very small percentage of those affected by layoffs are accepting COBRA.  And that means that we have a whole new uninsured population.  

Doctors are reporting fewer office visits.  Dentists who never had available appointment slots do now.  Pharmacists are reporting an increase in unfilled prescriptions and refills not being  picked up.

At this point, this is fairly anectodal but the short and long term impact on the health care system is likely to be severe. We haven’t seen where this is going but it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere good.

Medical Tourism Goes Mainstream?

Monday, July 7th, 2008

This week, articles on medical tourism have appeared in most major newspapers and on-line news outlets.  And for the first time, employers are asking Corporate Wellness what we think?  Good question – Our answer:  the jury is still out… 

What is medical tourism?  Simply put – it refers to the relatively new practice of patients going abroad to purchase medical services .  It is gaining in popularity and in some sets, all the rage-  combining high quality medical care at reduced prices and a vacation.  Almost sounds too good to be true!

According to the British Medical Journal, Lancet, about 40% of medical tourists are seeking the very best care – the newest technologist, the most recently developed procedure while approximately 32% are seeking treatment that is more affordable.

There are wonderful stories about patients going abroad for everything from dental work to gastric banding.  The savings on certain procedures, like dental implants or tummy tucks, is significant.  However, it seems that at Corporate Wellness, we’ve managed a disproportionate number of disability cases where employees who had gastric bypass in particular didn’t fare well on their return to the US. (more…)