Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Health Care Story, Part 3

These are facts and opinions from local health care professionals as quoted by the Springfield News and Leader. The hospitals referred to are St. John’s and CoxHealth in Springfield, MO. Please read the complete article in the August 16 edition of the News-Leader. Click here.

St. John’s Hospital during the last fiscal year, ending June 30, 2008, provided $33 million in charity care. CoxHealth had more than $93 million in shortfalls from Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and charity care.

Clearly, the national health care delivery system is failing us due to health care being fragmented, inefficient, and uncoordinated. The results are lower quality and higher costs. Local hospitals are beginning to see a significant increase in uninsured patients seeking care and they expect this trend to continue.

Physicians owned ancillary services, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device companies all play a role in the high cost of health care today.

An executive director of a local health center thinks a healthy lifestyle must be mandated if real reform is to be accomplished. These include physical exams, change cooking oils in restaurants, added bike routes, and pass no smoking ordinances.

If we took our current health care budget- what we spend now- and applied it to a single payer system, we could pay for everyone to have health care by eliminating the dollars that we now spend on non-health care marketing, advertising, and stockholder profits.
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