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HomeFocus → HCR: The Discussion Continues

HCR: The Discussion Continues Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Herschler   
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 15:16

On March 24th the Coalition Panel on Health presented a debate on healthcare with the provocative title:

FINDING THE BALANCE BETWEEN REFORM AND REPEAL.  Produced by EarQ, the event was held at Ana G Mendez University System in Miramar.  The purpose of the event was to address issues such as:

·         Defining the healthcare debate

·         What HCR means for America

·         Can we afford reform?

·         Can we afford repeal?

Moderated by Rochelle Latkanich, Regional Vice President, Take Care Health Systems, the participants possessed diverse backgrounds and viewpoints.  The panel consisted of Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo, UM School of Medicine, Chief of General Internal Medicine, Tom Gomez, Transformation at the Edge, Executive Director, Dr. Manuel Laureano, Ana G. Mendez University System, Professor of Healthcare Administration, Linda Quick, South Florida Health & Hospital Association, President, Allan Boshell, AvMed Health Plans,  Vice President and Brian Payne, Catholic Hospice, Executive Director. 

The starting point was a discussion of anticipated benefits of HCR.  Dr. Carrasquillo noted that young people will now have more career and education options now that they can ride their parents' plan until age 26.  Dr. Laureano stated "I think HCR will be good for everyone eventually."  He went on to point out that the current situation is clearly unsustainable, "I have an employee who is 60 years old. Her health premium is over $1000 a month and she only makes $2000 per month."   

The current system's shortcomings were expounded upon by Mr. Boshell who emphasized the need to transition to a new method of compensation.  "The old paradigm of do more (procedures), make more (money) is unsustainable," he stated.  And "Payment reform is essential to solving the primary care physician shortage," Dr. Carrasquillo added.  Bringing the conversation closer to home, Mr. Gomez stated "Miami leads the nation in avoidable hospital admissions for Medicare patients. The probing question for this community is:  How do we reduce the waste?"  

Next the conversation turned to one of HCR's core goals:  Moving toward Universal Care.  "I don't think we can go from 75% insured to 97% insured like they did in Massachusetts; maybe we can fulfill half of that," Dr. Carrasquillo said.  Ms. Quick pointed out that of 4.5 million uninsured in Florida, 1 million are undocumented aliens who are specifically excluded from HCR.

Mr. Payne bemoaned the area's unique challenges stating "The problem in South Florida is a lot of illegal citizens die here and that is the first time they are documented. This affects our CON" (adversely). 

Ms. Quick was passionate about the government's role in health policy and administration stating flatly "I don't object to paying more in taxes."  She emphasized the government's role in educating citizens to make healthy lifestyle choices, addressing the primary care shortage and providing safety net health services, among other things.  "Many of us believe this individually but apparently not collectively" she said.  

All panelists agreed that the Great Recession combined with an aging demographic creates fiscal challenges for governments as well as at the organizational level.  "There has to be a change in culture," Dr. Laureno noted.  "How can we provide care within our economic limitations?" he asked rhetorically.

Mr. Boshell challenged Ms. Quick's faith in the government's role in fixing our flawed health system stating "I don't think the government can solve healthcare.  We saw what happened in Massachusetts.  I believe the American entrepreneur will deliver the solution."  Mr. Gomez then added "And that entrepreneur will be a doctor!"

Mr. Herschler is the Editor & Publisher of FHIweekly & FloridaHealthIndustry.com.   

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2011 08:43
 


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