Health care reform is perhaps the most important and difficult domestic issue in state and national politics right now. Here are eight reforms that can improve health care delivery and make it more affordable.
Health care reform is perhaps the most important and difficult domestic issue in state and national politics right now. Health care costs continue to escalate, and the individual insurance market struggles as Congress has been unable to replace or improve the Affordable Care Act.
In my position as chairman of the Intermountain Healthcare board of trustees, I wish to share some reforms suggested by Utah’s largest health care provider. Intermountain has been recognized as a model of health care innovation with its comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to patient care. These are recommendations from the doctors, nurses, hospital administrators and insurance professionals who are on the front lines, providing health care services to thousands of patients each day, at a cost that is among the lowest in the nation.
These eight reform opportunities could improve health care delivery and make it more affordable.
Medicaid block grants — States are best positioned to determine the health care needs of their citizens, and they need flexibility to structure and administer the Medicaid program. Federal funding should be sufficient to sustain the Medicaid Accountable Care Organization program, including future enrollment growth. Low-cost states and those that did not expand Medicaid should not be penalized. Block grants should provide per-capita payments to all states.
States should be allowed to include additional “targeted” recipients, such as childless adults, and also allowed to cover generic drug equivalents and take measures to control medication costs.
Mental health initiative — Many physical illnesses are related to mental and behavioral health. A holistic…