Monday, December 08, 2008

Another Cop-Out

AHIP got a brief splash in the news last Thursday for unveiling its health reform proposals at the National Press Club.

AHIP stands for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the health insurance companies’ national association.

I have not been able to find a copy of the proposals in the AHIP web page, but according to the newspapers (The Boston Globe, December 4, 2008) they “included recommendations for insuring everyone, containing costs, improving quality, and reducing administrative hassles for doctors.”

The article also indicated that the proposals were “stated so generally that the group’s president, Karen Ignagni, said they would be impossible to price.”

AHIP addressed the cost issue by proposing that “Congress should set a goal of reducing growth of healthcare costs by as much as 30 percent over five years….through steps including eliminating unnecessary treatments and paying doctors for better care, not more care.”

The proposals called for “improving the quality of care by devoting more expertise and money to preventive and wellness care, investing in more research to determine the best treatment protocols and providing this information to doctors and standardizing technology that is used to record and transmit patient information.”

What a cop-out!!

Here you have what ought to be one of the knowledgeable organizations in health care, well enough financed to support its projects properly. One would hope for it to provide some meaningful insights into how to go about fixing what are proving to be stubbornly intractable problems. Yet what it offers does not amount to much more than a package of slogans and platitudes.

So the proposals served the purpose of getting some publicity for AHIP and its president, but that is about all.

Health care reform will progress beyond the stage of rhetoric when hospitals and doctors devise better and more affordable ways to provide care. Nobody wants to suggest it but there is no other way.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

FREE counter and Web statistics from sitetracker.com