Sunday, June 03, 2007

Welcome Responses

As a blogger, it is always gratifying to receive responses of any kind (it means someone is reading) but particularly from people you hold in high esteem.

The recent posting A Step towards Reform dealt with the breaking down of the bifurcation of health care into its institutional and professional components.

The first came from John Casey, twice retired from a career in health care management and now board chairman of MedCath, Inc.

I found your comment about the need for physicians and institutions to be one to be particularly interesting. Given my history in recent years of having physician investor/partners involved in two different companies, I am more convinced than ever that we have to find new and better ways to have physicians meaningfully involved ( a la "skin in the game") if we are to truly expect them to act in concert with institutional or corporate interests. I think there is evidence, (despite the controversies over physician ownership) that some enlightened not-for-profits have come to that conclusion as well. There will very probably need to be some tax reform to enable that to fully blossom, but I believe that it has significant implications for clinical quality and patient safety as well as the economic well being of our healthcare system.

Later in that same day, Tom Sawyer, a recovering hospital administrator now associated with the investment bank Shattuck Hammond Partners LLC. had this to say:

I agree with your assessment that at some time we have to address the flaws in the model through a new organizational vehicle that incorporates the physician and the hospital into a common unit that can focus on improving the delivery of care. The system is still too fractured for anything but some type of reimbursement control model and that is not how you improve the health of the masses.

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