Once completed, this merger would bring two nationally- respected departments of pathology and clinical laboratory into the combined health system
Two of the nation’s most prominent academic departments of pathology and clinical laboratory medicine will become part of a single “super-health system” if a just-announced plan to merge takes place. In Detroit on Wednesday, it was announced that Henry Ford Health System and Beaumont Health System had each signed a letter of intent to merge.
CEO Nancy Schlichting of Henry Ford Health System and CEO Gene Michalski, of Beaumont Health System discussed the plan to merge their health systems at a press conference on Wednesday, October 31. The deal is subject to further discussions and due diligence. No target date for completion of the merger was provided. (more…)
Ex-Senate Majority Leader Predicts Democrats Will Aggressively Push Reform
In recent weeks, laboratory professionals got a ringside seat to hear a true Washington insider discuss key issues in healthcare reform. Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, told lab industry executives and pathologists that Congress faces three significant hurdles as it attempts to reform the healthcare system. The first—and perhaps most significant—hurdle involves costs, he said. Daschle is currently a Senior Policy Advisor at Alston and Bird, a law firm in Washington, D.C.
“Cost is a huge political factor,” stated Daschle during a recent audio conference conducted by the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) on June 24. “Of all of the factors, cost is driving this debate as much if not more than any [other single factor]. We are looking at an investment cost of about $1 trillion to put this new infrastructure in place and that is an issue of great concern.” Daschle explained that the other two hurdles are quality of care and access to healthcare.
List of recommendations based on UnitedHealth’s extensive database and experience
Every sector of the healthcare industry is offering both Congress and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) advice on how to reform the system to improve quality of care, while reducing costs. Too often, the search for ways to save money that can be redirected to covering uninsured is a game of taking money from one existing health service and shifting it to another.
Recently UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) stepped into this debate over how to save money. In important ways, it is better positioned to provide this advice than most other entities. For example, UnitedHealth Group is the nation’s largest insurer in terms of revenue. UNH funds and organizes care for 70 million Americans. It arranges $115 billion in health care services provided by 5,000 hospitals and 650,000 physicians nationwide. Because of this, UNH’s Center for Modernization and Reform has collected more data on clinical services provided and resulting healthcare outcomes than anyone else.
Health reform plan preserves patient choice and requires no new government funding
As Congress gets down to the nitty gritty details of healthcare reform, a unique bipartisan proposal presented by the Rolling Hills Group, a group of Tennessee healthcare experts and community leaders, is gaining support on both sides of the aisle.
This healthcare reform proposal, initially developed for a statewide program in Tennessee, has captured Congress’ attention because it meets top health care reform priorities—universal coverage, lower costs, improved care and safety, but doesn’t require any new funding sources.
Clinical laboratories can provide that missing education about CDHPs to patients
Even as enrollment in Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) climbs steadily year after year, a new study reveals that most physicians are unprepared to help their patients understand and better use these forms of health insurance. This is a barrier to CDHP acceptance and an opportunity for clinical laboratories.
CDHPs—and their close cousins, HDHPs (high-deductible health plans_—are designed to shift more responsibility for healthcare decisions to patients. Many physicians, however, are unprepared to advise patients enrolled in CDHPs about cost-effective treatment options. This is the finding of a 2008 survey of 525 randomly selected doctors published in the American Journal of Managed Care . Nearly half, 43%, of doctors responding to the survey admitted knowing “a little” or “not at all” about CDHPs or HSAs. At least 33% of surveyed physicians said they are “somewhat” knowledgeable. Only 24% of physicians surveyed claimed “much” or “a great deal” of knowledge about CDHPs.