There is a classic Bill Cosby routine that features the punchline, "Everyone out of the pool!" There have been times recently when I have pictured the Obama Administration as a frustrated lifeguard with the opposite task, blowing a whistle and calling, "Everyone IN the pool!"
Today, consumers must take an active role in their own health care and choose providers and hospitals who consistently deliver high-quality and high-value care. It's critical if we want to rein in spiraling costs and enhance care.
The pressure is on. Newly medically-uninsured, I must take a deep breath and dive into this project of figuring out what I'll do when the medical needs demand strike.
President Obama said last year he would consider raising the eligibility age as part of a deal to cut federal spending. He's been silent on the issue so far this year, maybe because he's given it more thought.
I've often said that the Affordable Care Act is the end of the beginning of health reform. It addresses many problems associated with health insurance, but more must be done to control costs and access real universal coverage. And flaws in the law need to be fixed.
This entire Medicare debate's being held under false pretenses. There are only two paths to $600 billion in savings. One's macabre and morbid, and is offered here only as a Swiftian "modest proposal." The other would take a chunk out of corporate profits. Which path do you think the GOP would prefer?
Where quality improvement was once a glimmering idealistic notion conjured up by a few pockets of ambitious doctors, it is fast becoming recognized as a permanent fixture in our nation's medical infrastructure.
The present state of health care in this country to an increasing extent involves strangers caring for strangers, with patients' narratives and life stories no longer a key element guiding decisions about their own health care.
For large businesses looking to avoid increased health insurance costs, transitioning to mostly part-time staff (less than 30 hours a week) seems like an obvious loophole. But remember -- the ACA defines a large business as one with over 50 full-time equivalent employees.
It's complicated -- so complicated that unless you are a reader of obscure insurance industry newsletters, you've probably never heard about this, even though it has the potential to cause the collapse of the exchanges and completely circumvent the intent of Congress.
Access to health care for millions of women is on the line if Congress fails to act and the fiscal cliff's mandatory budget cuts take effect.
The big money in complementary and integrative medicine fields and their preventive and health-promoting focus that CFO Magazine's McCann notes is not in churning services. It is in saving money by limiting services.
The fiscal cliff is bad for the economy and bad for public health. Congress and the administration must work together to protect the nation's economy and ensure all Americans have a chance at a healthy future.
We know that health reform can be complicated and time consuming. Not everyone has the time to sit down and learn the details of the new law -- even if they wanted to. But we also know that it's critical for consumers to know what's available to them and to take advantage of the benefits.
Disruption. Get ready to hear that word many times in the coming weeks, especially if you hang out inside the Washington beltway.
Our health care system in this country is quite adept at treating people who have a single disease. We don't have an effective set of best practices, or an essential foundation of research, to know how to take care of those who are coping with more than one condition.