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Sunday, 23 December 2012 23:28

Industry overviews: Healthcare

Written by  MiBiz Staff
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Richard Breon Richard Breon Courtesy photo

Richard Breon
CEO, Spectrum Health
What’s getting all the attention is the whole “fiscal cliff” issue and what’s going to happen there. We have already planned as an organization for that reduction (in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements). We’re not sure how it’s going to get resolved, or when it’s going to get resolved, or if it’s going to get resolved. We already made those reductions in our planning going forward. One of the concerns I have with the fiscal cliff is sometimes the cure of the disease actually is worse than the disease. In our case, if they were to fix some of the issues that they need to fix, how they do that may be more onerous than they have been in the past. But … we are anticipating there are going to be cuts in reimbursement, and we are planning for that. For health care, it is prudent organizations that are going to anticipate the reimbursement cuts no matter what the solution. So we’re going to have to do more with less.

 

Phil McCorkle
President, Saint Mary’s Health Care
In these uncertain times, it is probably dangerous to make any kind of prediction about where the economy is going, but we do see some interesting trends. Grand Rapids and West Michigan area businesses have been reaching out to us in ways they never have before, in the interest of managing their health care costs and keeping their employees healthy — and the two fit together. Population health management is the focus of many businesses, and because of our recognized expertise in primary care, as well as oncology and neuroscience, businesses are very interested in finding new ways to work with us to keep their employees healthy. (Definition: Population Health Management (PHM) — the management, integration and outcome measurement of any program affecting the health and productivity of your organization, i.e. corporate wellness, disease management, catastrophic case management, utilization management, EAP, disability, and/or worker’s compensation programs.) That is one of the more significant ways that our business will grow next year, and we certainly welcome the opportunity.

 

Roger Spoelman
Regional President and CEO, Trinity Health, West Michigan Region
“It’s clear that health care is in for a wild ride. We are going to have to balance the challenge of increasing demand with downward pressure on the payment system. More people will have coverage with fewer dollars to pay for care. This puts us in conflict with who we are when it comes to quality, accessibility, and safety. That is our challenge. How do we provide quality, safe care for less money? That is health care 2013 and beyond. I am an optimist. It’s hard to think of these things and be negative even though there will be challenges. I have been in health care long enough to know that we have an enormous ability to adapt, but this is going to be different. It will challenges us and will take all our creativity and innovation. I am confident that we will meet this challenge, but it may require us to do things very differently and make fundamental changes in our health system that we have not seen before. One other thing I am concerned about is increasing demand. Massachusetts addressed some of these issues before us and they experienced an increasing demand for primary care providers. I fully expect this will be our situation as well. Until our supply of primary care providers catches up with demand, I anticipate we’ll see increasing volumes in emergency departments, which is not the most effective way to receive care.”

 

Spencer Johnson
President, Michigan Health & Hospital Association
The implementation of health care reform, in the wake of President Obama’s re-election, will be a boon in services for attorneys, consultants and IT providers. There is also a heavy demand for shared learning, creating opportunities for associations like the MHA, which acts as the trusted voice and lead convener of Michigan’s hospitals.

 

Richard Murdock
Executive Director, Michigan Association of Health Plans
Our industry is health care, and we see the influences of federal and state actions that will have significant impact on cost structures. As business and industry attempt to provide or acquire health benefits, the cost of health care in terms of premium and out-of-pocket costs will become more of an issue.

There is a lack of awareness that the move toward an insurance exchange and essential benefit package for the individual and small market will cost more than benefits do today and many will be unwilling to take up coverage. Meanwhile, businesses will figure out that they are better off without providing benefits, assuming individuals can use the exchange since the offer of business credits may not be a large enough incentive.

Growth will be due to continued merger/acquisitions and growth in governmental programs, particularly Medicaid, which in turn will exacerbate the cost issue due to chronic Medicaid under-funding that is shifted to other payers.

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