Here at Becker's Hospital Review, the reporters value the opportunity to open an insightful dialogue with our readers through comments posted at the end of articles. Support, criticism, questions and discussion are all present, and we appreciate our readers for their engagement!
Based on readers' comments, the following 25 articles include some of the most well-received or disputed content, or incited the most interesting conversations. See the list below for the good, the bad and the ugly — and keep commenting.
1. House Republicans sue Obama administration over PPACA: 5 things to know
Ava: What a bunch of fools. Congress wanted President Obama to postpone the employer mandate. This Congress is so ineffective and spends America's money on stupid lawsuits instead of getting the work of the people done....How about if they work on immigration, jobs, infrastructure, or heck, practically anything else instead of wasting our time and hard earned money on ignorant political stunts?
2. Is executive compensation aligned with health system strategy? 10 findings
Dr. No: Anyone who thinks compensation for healthcare execs should be higher must be FIRED. We should go back to the old system of having nuns run hospitals. The privilege of serving patients is the compensation. Overpaid C-suites are the main problem in health care; along with consolidation, acquisition, overbuilding, overtreating, overinvestment in useless technologies - LOOK AT OUTCOMES. Cut the fat right off from the top! What was I just saying about barring men from running anything for 100 years?
3. Union accuses Prime of overbilling Medicare by $93M
Todd: These unions should not be in Healthcare. Hospitals are not sweat shops. This particular union is known for its unscrupulous activities. Our tax dollars are being pilfered by the SEIU.
4. The problem to be solved
Bonnie: As always, David Pate has hit the nail on the head! Whether you call it health maintenance (1990s) or population health (2014), the focus in health 'care' needs to shift from 'sick' care to 'health'. Until we figure this out we're only putting bandages on a very sick system.
Clinicians take accountability: These "buckets" are not new, clinicians have been slow or reluctant to react to the changing conditions of healthcare. The business model has always known that "cost control" was not handled very well by senior leaders. I would disagree with Dr. Pate, it is the healthcare model that needs to adjust to the the business model of healthcare. No one wants to say this out loud, but has been the clinical side of healthcare that has created this out of control spending, not the business side.
Lynn: I agree with all 3 buckets, but the naked emperor wants to know "What is our proposed business model for 'health'"? I've heard this question asked in many forums. Apparently, the answer is "there is none". When we are healthy, healthcare costs drastically reduce/disappear. So how do we motivate the healthcare industry to put themselves out of business?
Dr. David Pate: Bonnie- Thanks for your kind comment. Totally agree. "Clinicians take accountability" - I understand your disagreement (I think), but the "clinical side" is reacting rationally to the business model and incentives that exist. I don't know of any healthcare economist or policy expert that does not agree that ability to pay (including insurance) + unequal decision-making and lack of transparency in favor of the clinician + fees paid for every service rendered drives increased healthcare spending. It is not the sole cause, as my article suggests, but I don't know anyone else that thinks the business model has not contributed to excess healthcare spending.
Dr. David Pate: Hi Lynn: I think that there is a model that will work. In my opinion, a successful model would have to evolve to providers having access to the insurance premium, whether they become the insurer or simply turn the current insurance company-provider relationship on its head. Then, all of our services become cost centers, providers will right-size their operations, providers will be relentless in the pursuit of waste and in reducing cost and in eliminating low value/no value services, the incentive will be on promoting, maintaining, and restoring health, we will engage in more meaningful discussions about end-of-life care, we will shift people into new roles (health coaches, care coordinators, etc.), we will use team-based care to deliver services and thereby relieve the pressure on certain shortages of healthcare professionals, and we will finally be rewarded, instead of penalized, for our investments in health, fitness, wellness, prevention, and early detection. There is so much disease in the pipeline due to childhood obesity, personal health behaviors, and current disease burdens, that there won't be any overnight reduction in the need for acute and chronic healthcare services, and so as we begin to improve health, there will be plenty of time over an extended period of time for the healthcare professional markets to right-size without the need for more drastic measures.