Four Strikes In a Three-Strike Game
May 16, 2013
Everyone it seems is piling on the expected "train wreck" implementation of the Accountable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Not me. I have been piling on since it became law in 2010.
The so-called "state exchanges" (most of which will be run by the federal government because of recalcitrant governors or state legislatures) will begin mandated enrollment of individuals and employees of small companies in October. The exchange will provide mandated individuals with coverage effective January 1. Exchanges provide a government-run marketplace (that sounds strange to me) so people who are ordered to buy coverage have a place to buy it. Theoretically, that is.
The Rest of the Story
May 14, 2013
News articles from a Medicare press release announcing "transparency" of hospital prices reminded me of longtime journalist Paul Harvey and his regular news commentary, "The Rest of the Story." Medicare, a source of much distortion on healthcare pricing, was touting its posting of what hospitals charge it to serve patients it covers.
Here is the rest of the story.
To Be or Not to Be -- On Facebook
May 9, 2013
I am not on Facebook. My family jokes (I think) that this is because no one would want to be friends with me.
I look at my wife's Facebook page to keep up with what the younger members of my extended family are up to, as well as keeping tabs on my wife's friends. It's surprising the kind of information people will share. Who knew (name omitted) was such a cad? Well, since the news made Facebook, apparently everyone knows.
Two Wonks from NorthBay
May 7, 2013
Off we went last week to the same place our taxes go -- Washington D.C. -- and the American Hospital Association's annual legislative confab. Unlike our taxes, we came back.
"We" were Steve Huddleston, NorthBay's VP of Public Affairs, and I. Our job was to be wonks representing NorthBay's concerns about healthcare policy.
The Agony of Reality
April 30, 2013
Reality hurts. I know. Many times in my life it has smacked me hard.
The agony of reality is beginning to be felt in Washington as the implementation of Obamacare begins. Two weeks ago a prominent Democratic senator who was a leader in the legislative effort that created the Affordable Care Act said he feared a train wreck because of the way the legislation was being implemented.
How to Score New Shirts
April 25, 2013
Every year for one week in April NorthBay's conference center in Green Valley becomes a beehive of activity as every NorthBay patient care provider - registered nurses and certified nurse assistants, among others - spends at least one day taking tests and attending various demonstrations in our Skills Fair.
It's Happening in East Texas
April 23, 2013
After I finish my pleasure reading I like to end my day by listening to business and consumer radio programs on stations I receive via the Internet. Most (like Clark Howard, Dave Ramsey and Bob Brinker) originate during the day but delayed broadcasts come during the evening hours. Part of the fascination is a glimpse, via local commercials, of what is going on in the rest of the country in health care.
The Next Level
April 18, 2013
Last week the Solano Emergency Medical Services Cooperative (SEMSC) approved a timeline and process which will be used to decide which of two organizations in Solano County will be designated as a Level II trauma center for Solano County.
A Picture of What's Ahead
April 16, 2013
In an exhaustive two-hour presentation at a system wide meeting of NorthBay senior managers, directors, managers, affiliated physicians and board members, the president of a major think tank's research arm drove home some of the features of President Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will change the way we deliver health care.
It's Good To Be Small
April 11, 2013
There is big and there is small. Being big or rich does not necessarily translate into best. And no, I am not talking about NorthBay Healthcare and the guys from Oakland.
This time I'm referring to Western Health Advantage (WHA), the nonprofit health plan owned by UC Davis Health System, Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West) and NorthBay Healthcare, and specifically how it compares to other HMOs in the 2013 quality ratings just issued by California's Office of the Patient Advocate.