Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dear GBIO, No need for your meeting

Sometimes, the concatenation of news stories on the same day is too compelling to pass by.

On Wednesday, the Boston Globe reported:

The next big movement in Massachusetts health care may come not from the state’s world-famous hospitals or its cutting-edge research labs, but from houses of worship. Stepping up pressure on the health care industry to control spiraling costs, which are crimping family and government budgets, the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization will host a forum next Tuesday at Temple Israel in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area to grill hospital and insurance leaders about the affordability of medical care.

On the same day, with no hint of irony, the same newspaper reported:

Public health officials on Wednesday approved Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s proposed $450 million research and outpatient center, deciding that the project will allow the hospital to better care for patients.

(See more about this in a post I published in December 2011.)

Meanwhile, over at the Boston Business Journal, we read:

Boston Children’s Hospital . . .  said net patient revenue totaled $236.9 million in the three months that ended June 30, a 5 percent year-over-year increase driven by greater demand for outpatient services as well as several initiatives to boost revenue through “enhancement initiatives.”

The Patriot Ledger brings this to the personal level by explaining how individuals can be hurt by the current Medicare rules, which allow hospitals very little discretion about defining admission versus observation status:

Ann Gillis of Milton, who is 83, is fighting the denial her appeal of a $7,000 bill she faced for follow-up rehab services after being hospitalized at Beth Israel Deaconess-Milton last winter. The problem: she was placed on observation status rather than admitted to the hospital, even though she was in the hospital four days. Not being admitted meant Medicare wouldn't cover her rehab at follow-up skilled nursing care in Westwood.

And when research might help produce savings, WBUR tells us:

The Framingham Heart Study is considered one of the most important research projects in medical history. Over the last 65 years, data from the study has been used to develop and test technologies and treatments that have saved millions of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs. But now, the mandated across-the-board budget cuts, known as the sequester, are dramatically reducing federal funding for the research.

So, GBIO, what is it you hope to learn at your meeting that isn't being splayed out in the daily media?

1 comment:

akhan13 said...

For anyone interested in this issue, Kevin Frick, a bright young (but accomplished) health economist, has a great (and under-read, in my opinion) blog. Here is a relevant post that I think some of the regulars (and I think you, Paul) will enjoy