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ACA 101: An Employer’s Search for Objective Advice

flying cadeuciiIn ancient Athens, the philosopher Diogenes wandered the daylight markets holding a lantern, looking for what he termed, “an honest man.”

It seems since the dawn of the consumer economy that customers and buyers have traded most heavily on a single currency – trust.

Three millennia later, our financial system still hinges on the basic premise that the game is not rigged and any trusted intermediary is defined by a practitioner who puts his client’s interests ahead of his own.

Anyone responsible for procurement of healthcare may feel like a modern-day Diogenes as they wander an increasingly complex market in search of transparent partners and aligned interests. The art of managing medical costs will continue to be a zero-sum game where higher profit margins are achieved at the expense of uninformed purchasers.

It’s often in the shadowed areas of rules-based regulation and in between the fine print of complex financial arrangements that higher profits are made.

Are employers too disengaged and outmatched to manage their healthcare expenditures?

Are the myriad intermediaries that serve as their sentinels, administrators and care managers benefiting or getting hurt by our current system’s lack of transparency and its deficit of information?

Continue reading…

Canadians? Not as good as us!

Several of my friends in the blogosphere are getting very excited because eHealth Ontario has pissed away a few million dollars and the now fired CEO got more bonus than was seemly. So she gave Accenture and Price Waterhouse Coopers low 7 figure no-bid contracts and it’s now transpired that consultants billed food and random travel for expenses. MrH at HISTalk gives it two separate mentions in his section of the news and Inga piles in as well.

But I must remind you that as in all things Canadians pale in comparison to how we do it here.Continue reading…

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