BY KIM BELLARD
On one of the Sunday morning news programs Governors Spence Cox (UT) and Jared Polis (CO) promoted the National Governors Association initiative Disagree Better. The initiative urges that we practice more civility in our increasingly civilized political discourse. It’s hard to argue the point (although one can question why NGA thinks two almost indistinguishable, middle-aged white men should be the faces of the effort), but I found myself thinking, hmm, we really need to do that in healthcare too.
No one seems happy with the U.S. healthcare system, and no one seems to have any real ideas about how to change that, so we spend a lot of time pointing fingers and deciding that certain parties are the “enemy.” That might create convenient scapegoats and make good headlines, but it doesn’t do much to solve the very real problems that our healthcare system has. We need to figure out how to disagree better.
I’ll go through three cases in point:
Health Insurers versus Providers of Care
On one side, there are the health care professionals, institutions, organizations that are involved in delivering care to patients, and on the other side there are health insurers that pay them. Both sides think that the other side is, essentially, trying to cheat them.
For example, prior authorizations have long been a source of complaint, with new reports coming out about its overuse in Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and commercial insurance. Claim denials seem equally as arbitrary and excessive. Health insurers argue that such efforts are necessary to counter constantly rising costs and well documented, widespread unnecessary care.Continue reading…