Thursday, April 10, 2008

Better Healthcare for South Dakotans…

Health care is a right, not a privilege. And until we begin to understand this key principle, we will not be solving anything soon. Our strategic approach and the passion by which we address this important concern must involve an innovative and creative model. The new model must place wellness and health promotion on the forefront, investment in our health care facilities and training and recruitment of health care providers ranging from nurse aids to specialized physicians. Primary care and home health care in South Dakota’s rural communities is diminishing at a time when we need it the most. We need a system that not only creates an incentive for our insurance companies to prevent disease, but also our insurance companies must feel equal pain by reimbursing health care providers fairly and becoming accountable to reducing their administrative costs to running their business. There is plenty of money in the system, it is being spent on ‘after the fact’ care, most of which can be prevented. Insurance companies and health care providers must step up to deliver a new style of practice, a new model of operation. State government has the capacity and authority to lead the way. Will it happen?


Anonymous said...

I agree, but suggest it would be best dealt with by the federal government. That would insure uniformity for those who move from one state to another. It would also keep sick people from flocking to benevolent states and breaking their budgets.

The biggest challenge is cost control, so we don't just switch from getting ripped off by big corporations to getting ripped off by big government.

I think Dennis Kucinich is the only one with the right solution to all this. "Half measures will avail us nothing ..." I don't like his financing plan, but there are other, less regressive ways to do it.

This, from a healthy Republican. Who'd-a thunk it?

Scott Munsterman... said...

You're right - cost is the issue.
Especially when our country is spending close to 16% of our GDP towards health care, when other economically developed countries are ranging between 8-12%. This creates a huge competitive advantage for business in those countries, as they compete against the business in our country...

In my opinion, we need to take control of the situation and create the competitive advantage our companies need in South Dakota, in part, by creating a better health care system that is universal and controls the rate of growth of the health care dollar.

Think about this for a minute, what are the incentives for private insurance carriers or HMOs to worry about health care costs? They simply pass it on through their premiums. That cost is absorbed largely by the employer and more recently by the consumer, through higher deductibles, joined with higher premiums.

We must design a system implemented with financial 'drivers' that would create incentives for the insurance industry to compete on quality of care and make their profits on reducing the cost of health care by preventing disease, rather than paying doctors and hospitals less for their procedures and services. This calls for incentives that would be geared more towards prevention models of care.

There are new models are out there. We need to make the bold change. You are right, "Half measrues will avail us nothing"; we need to fix this thing - incremental changes will not work. We must turn this ship 180 degrees.

And it won't cost us more if we structure it properly.

I appreciate the dialogue!