Healthcare Daily Digest for 19 February 2013: The Future of Healthcare Reform Might be Kaiser

If you’re wondering what a workable model of healthcare reform might look like, The Miami Herald thinks you should be looking at Kaiser.

“[Kaiser's] focus on prevention is what has helped Kaiser evolve from an HMO with a reputation for cut-rate, cookie-cutter care to the health care industry giant it is today.”

It’s that cookie-cutter aspect that this long love-letter to the HMO seems to be trying to counteract. Kaiser’s business model had seemed to be less long-term care than it was “I’m sick on a weekend; let’s see who’s at the clinic” mode. But, if this puff-piece is to be believed (and maybe it is; maybe I shouldn’t rely on my past bad experience), Kaiser is working on “integrated health care” — a points that’s illustrated with an anecdote about a lady with a heart-valve issue that was treated in a matter of hours at a Kaiser.

Advertisement

Other headlines we think you should read:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Pope’s Resigning, But Didn’t Think to Ask: Like: does the Pope get to keep his health insurance? (The answer: probably.)

You Can’t Have One Without the Other: “Critics of both the White House and U.S. Senate proposals to reform immigration suggest Washington has gone too far in offering what amounts to “amnesty” to millions of illegal residents. But immigrant advocates and public health officials think the proposals don’t go far enough.”

Strange Bedfellows: “Big tobacco companies and anti-cancer activists are standing in opposition to a part of the Affordable Care Act that allows insurance companies to charge smokers 50 percent more than patients who do not use tobacco.” No: I don’t get it either.

Good News for Old People!: “The elderly and disabled enrolled in Medicare will pay less for drugs next year and insurers that offer plans with extra benefits will see taxpayer subsidies reduced because of record low spending growth, the U.S. said.”

It’s Not a Complete Loss: “Health care providers in Harris County could recoup most, if not all, of the uncompensated care costs incurred by the uninsured and paid by local taxpayers and charitable organizations if the state Legislature expands Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.”

Read it? Love it? Want more of it? Make sure you register on insidePatientFinance.com today for the weekly Patient Finance insider and you won’t miss the ongoing great content from our site!