MENU

Healthcare – The Chaos Remains So We all Need to Get Involved


On Tuesday, November 14, a sold-out What’s Brewing took on the topic of the state of healthcare here in Central Oregon. Jim Lussier, City Club board member/founder and international healthcare expert, moderated the discussion on the “chaos” of healthcare and healthcare reform at the national and statewide level impact healthcare in Central Oregon.

Lussier made the observation that “we haven’t begun healthcare reform, we’ve begun reforming who pays. It’s all financially based.” He also laid out several of the key drivers of healthcare costs: an aging population, consumerism, a low infant mortality rate and research and development of medicines. The U.S. by far has the highest healthcare costs per person in the industrial world and much of that is due to the fact that much of the research and development is housed here.

The bottom line was that healthcare providers are under a constant threat of losing funding which enables them to provide care and keep costs in check.

 

Joe Sluka, CEO at St. Charles Health Systems mentioned that “75% of the reimbursement we get is from federal programs like the 340b prescription drug discount program. This program enables St. Charles with a $6M annual budget item and it is constantly under attack from legislation changes.” The bottom line was that healthcare providers are under a constant threat of losing funding which enables them to provide care and keep costs in check.

 

From the patient’s perspective, Lindsey Hopper, VP Medical Programs at PacificSource, said that “Members have a hard time discerning between what is political posturing vs. legitimate changes that might come to fruition.” The chaos in the marketplace is heavily driven by what’s taking place in Washington, D.C., not surprisingly.

… we each need to get involved by contacting our elected officials and letting them know what’s important to us and by taking responsibility for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

Katy Brooks, Bend Chamber CEO, posed a question as to whether electronic records and the systems that enable them are really worth the cost. Stephen Mann, President at High Lakes Health Care, chimed in saying that many of the systems aren’t totally linked yet, but being interfaced with a collective of patient information is worth it. Lindsey Hopper added, “The benefit is patients don’t have to retell their story each time they are with a doctor. Key details could be omitted over time.”

 

At the end of the discussion, much was learned, but the larger problems still remain. Lussier addressed this by saying “we each need to get involved by contacting our elected officials and letting them know what’s important to us and by taking responsibility for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

Join the conversation!

Got something to add to this post? Please share it here...

Add a comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Bend Chamber is actively supported by these Lead Investors

 

: : : : : Website Navigation : : : : :