Leading the Way: The Future of Health Care

For the 2012 Henry Ford Hospital Grand Ball, we wanted to make a high-impact video that expresses the passion that we have for our great hospital’s past and its future.

Enter our creative partners from DBA. They donated their time and talent to create a video modeled after the popular TED talk format to serve as that vehicle.

Actors being far too expensive, we found someone else to read the lines. And read the lines…and read the lines. (How do actors do this every day?)

I hope the above video from the 2012 Grand Ball inspires, motivates and excites you about the future of health care at Henry Ford Hospital.

Change is coming, we are ready, we are Henry Ford Hospital.

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The Affordable Care Act & Henry Ford

What does the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act mean to Henry Ford Hospital and Henry Ford Health System, and our patients?

The law has been in effect for two years and Henry Ford has been meeting the necessary steps to comply with the provisions of the law affecting us and our patients.

Doc in the “DIV.” The end of this post includes links to my local news interviews about ACA.

The ruling on Thusday supported the constitutionality of the ACA.

Some of the most controversial aspects of the law are scheduled to be implemented in 2014. Two of these components, mandated insurance and extension of Medicaid, were major subjects of the Court’s ruling.

Mandated insurance was supported as part of the tax provision, that is, failure to adhere to obtaining or providing insurance will be subject to tax penalties.

Without the insurance mandate, the insurance exchanges or pools would likely have fewer healthier enrollees, meaning insurance rates for policies purchased through the exchange would need to be much higher to support costs.

Expansion of Medicaid was left to states wtihout Federal threat of withholding all Medicaid dollars for not extending.

The ruling has brought some “certainty” to the constituionality of the law. This is a certainty that must be looked at through the lens of continued political polarization, the fall elections, threats of repeal of the law in the 2013 Congress, business and personal reaction, and implementation at the state and delivery system level.

But, importantly, this ruling allows Henry Ford to continue to make positive reforms to the country’s health care system, through our efforts to integrate care, reduce costs, increase access and make advances in medical technology, treatment and hospital care.

The ACA means the possibility of extending Medicaid to the nearly 500,000 uninsured people in Michigan, as well as extending additional benefits to lower income familes through insurance exchanges.

The implementation in 2014 also strikes denial of insurance to those patients with pre-exisiting illness. Families will continue to cover their adult children on family policies up to the age of 26.

By expanded coverage for uninsured and low-income patients, the act may help to provide economic relief to Henry Ford’s growing burden of uncompensated care.  In the past eight years uncompensated care at Henry Ford has doubled, from $111 million in 2003 to $210 million in 2011. Continue reading

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Day 1: Top 10 Health Care Issues in 2011

Frequently I am asked to name some of the top things I expect to see in health care over the next year. 

I thought it might be a good starting point for me to start the list and see what you think. 

I have to say that my list will be biased related to the immediate issues that The Henry Ford Hospital faces, and I view the list as broadly related to health care. 

I’m going to begin posting my Top 10 for 2011 list today, and continue adding other items to the list throughout the rest of the week.

Join in if you wish to add, delete or create a more specific list of your own, such as the top discoveries or the top trends that you see.

Top 10 List: Day 1

1.     Fight Over Health Care Reform. The politics and positioning may be as interesting to watch as the Super Bowl, but the stakes for all are much higher. Increasing challenges will come from all arenas, including judicial challenges, leading to a possible Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of health reform.

The dominant issue looming is the continued high costs of health care and the national deficit concern. The outcome of health care reform will more likely be predicated on finances and health care expense, competing priorities with other social programs, and state budgets and entitlements.

Best advice on how to individually deal with health care reform: Commit to staying as healthy as possible. If you are a health care worker, commit to being a solution to the high cost of health care.

Continue reading

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