Category: Health Care

Checking Up On Health: February 23, 2016

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd I shared a recollection on Facebook recently that is simply amazing in its lesson that it can be a deadly mistake to accept that, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” I was visiting the Friendly Human studios down at Atlanta’s Tech Village a couple of years ago, and got into a discussion with one of the company execs. We were talking about innovation in doing things, etc. He shared his experience at a medical convention he’d gone to videotape and the story he heard from an oncologist panelist. (It’s been a while and I’m paraphrasing big-time, so bear with me.) The oncologist said he’d been treating brain cancer patients,… View Article

Direct Care Resources

As the General Assembly debates the merits of direct care arrangements, here are some resources for those who want more information on this subject: Direct Primary Care (DPC) Puts Patients Back in the Driver’s Seat Empowering the relationship between doctors and patients is the key to achieving superior health outcomes, lower costs and an enhanced patient experience. DPC fosters this relationship by focusing on five key tenets: Service: The hallmark of DPC is adequate time spent between patient and physician, creating an enduring doctor-patient relationship. Patient Choice: Patients in DPC choose their own personal physician and are reactive partners in their healthcare. Elimination of Fee-For-Service: DPC eliminates undesired fee-for-service(FFS) incentives in primary care. These incentives distort healthcare decision-making by… View Article

Georgia Needs Direct Care Now

By Hal C. Scherz The Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed with the promise of decreasing the high costs of health care and increasing access to care by making health care insurance more affordable. Almost six years later, it appears that this experiment to remake American health care has been a failure. The average American now pays over $4,000 more for health care insurance, with deductibles in the $6,000 range. Meanwhile, 10-15 million Americans still lack health insurance. The ACA has disrupted the health insurance market, making it difficult for healthy young Americans to purchase insurance. Of the 23 Federal-state insurance co-ops, 11 have declared bankruptcy and all are in the red except one. All insurance companies participating in the insurance… View Article

Checking Up On Health: January 26, 2016

Health Care News and Views Compiled by Benita Dodd Happy New Year! The Legislature’s back in session; the presidential candidates’ ranks are thinning and you’re probably wondering whether there’s anything worthwhile amid the rhetoric. Governor Nathan Deal has made it quite clear that Medicaid expansion is not on his agenda, and it’s a wise move. First, why would you spend scarce state dollars on able-bodied individuals? Second, why would you force low-income Georgians into a program that is dogged by poor outcomes and low physician participation? Third, as I wrote recently in a commentary, there are opportunities in Georgia to expand health care options without expanding Medicaid. For example, the 2010 health law, which requires that most people have… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd In his State of the State address to the Georgia Legislature this week, Governor Nathan Deal succinctly justified his resistance to expanding Medicaid to low-income, able-bodied Georgians. Deal recited the costs already imposed by the Affordable Care Act: Reporting requirements alone add $2.1 million in state spending, and even without Medicaid expansion, enrollment increased due to heightened eligibility awareness. This “woodwork effect” increased program costs 15.7 percent from fiscal years 2013-17, to $3.1 billion. Unsurprisingly, critics denounced the governor for “leaving” federal money on the table and poor Georgians uninsured while missing an economic opportunity. But “no” to expanding this entitlement program does not equate to “no” to health care or to economic opportunity in Georgia.… View Article

Innovation is the True Health Care Solution

By Josh Daniels Political support for Medicaid expansion in Georgia is on life support and the prognosis may be terminal. This doesn’t mean, however, there isn’t a pathway forward for those looking for health care solutions. It’s the same pathway that has solved many of our problems: innovation. Each Medicaid expansion proposal has been a reaction to the failure of federal policy in attempting to address the “coverage gap.” But the gap is only a symptom of the underlying disease. The Affordable Care Act did little to actually make care affordable. In fact, it aggravated the very conditions that have driven health care costs up: regulation and government intervention. ObamaCare put more patients into the system with no corresponding increase… View Article

Checking Up On Health: November 3, 2015

Health Care News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Open enrollment began Sunday for health care coverage for 2016 under ObamaCare. Unfortunately, about 740,000 people insured through federally funded co-ops must find new health homes. They won’t have coverage because 12 of the 23 co-ops – “consumer operated and oriented plans” – are shutting their doors. Since October 1, seven co-ops in Tennessee, Kentucky, Oregon, Colorado, South Carolina, Utah and Arizona have announced they will not be selling insurance in 2016. Four more in Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada and New York told consumers earlier this year. On Tuesday, Michigan’s co-op added its name to the list. What’s the company line? “If a co-op has solvency issues, and we cannot rule… View Article

Halloween, ‘Sugar’ and The Right To Try

Are you ready for Halloween? I’m looking forward to good weather and good times with the hordes of trick-or-treaters this evening! Whenever Halloween and the predictions of “sugar highs” come around, I’m reminded of my mother. She had what she called “sugar.” When she died in 2012, having spent more than a painful decade as a bedridden amputee, she had battled Type 2 Diabetes for more than 40 years. The memories are mostly happy thoughts, though, because we were fortunate to have my mother in our lives nearly 75 years. I never did get to meet my grandmother: My mother was just 15 when her 45-year-old mother succumbed to the same insidious disease. It’s one of the reasons I monitor… View Article
The Hill ran an article this week criticizing Georgia’s efforts to encourage cross-state selling of health insurance. There are different forms of cross-state selling proposals. While Georgia’s single state one-way process hasn’t led to any changes in the market, it at least allows Georgia is willing to partner with other states and insurers in developing a successful cross-state program. Some reasons for Georgia’s lack of success: The bill was passed during the ObamaCare debate when insurers were focused on national health reform Insurers are not going to be responsive to a solitary state allowing plans and benefit designs from other states. It would take at least a regional coalition of states to get the attention and efforts of insurance, legal… View Article

Reforming Medicaid with Technology

By Merrill Matthews  Every state is looking for ways to reduce its Medicaid spending. Here’s an untested idea: Integrate existing technology to help Medicaid beneficiaries and their health care providers monitor and manage their health care. Medicaid’s Scope The federal-state Medicaid program is by far the largest health insurance plan, covering 62 million Americans, and it is the first or second biggest budget item in most states. Actually, Medicaid is three different programs. It provides health insurance for low-income children, pregnant women and some adults, covering about 40 percent of all births, and more than 50 percent in some states; It is the primary source of coverage for the disabled; and It covers certain costs for poor seniors, including nursing… View Article

The Foundation’s positions are well thought out and are often ahead of their time.

State Senator Jack Hill more quotes