Saturday, February 18, 2006

But What About the Cost of Care?

The February 7, 2006 issue of AHA News Now, the daily e-mail newsletter of the American Hospital Association contained an item titled “Houston hospital leader calls for overhaul of health care system.” It seems that in an speech of the same day at the National Press Club in Washington, President and CEO Dan Wolterman, CEO of Houston’s Memorial Hermann Healthcare System had called for comprehensive health care reform that focuses on prevention and wellness, personal accountability, liability reform, sufficient government reimbursement of Medicare and Medicaid services, and a mandate that all employers offer some form of health insurance for employees.

What about the cost of care, one might ask. His only reported reference to that was to say that hospitals could help effect change by working with physicians on shared goals and by improving quality, which often reduces costs.

In other words, we’ll try to do something about quality and, if we’re lucky, we might get some cost reduction as a side benefit.

One wonders how long the providers of health care will be able to get away with it.

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