Health Care Needs A Steve Jobs: Column


Comparative effectiveness research shifts from useful gauge to mechanistic autopilot homogenizing medicine toward “best practices.” Medicare’s reimbursement formula gives primacy to conventional wisdom and barricades the path of innovation. The Affordable Care Act worsens matters by tightening Washington’s bureaucratic grip through such unaccountable institutions as the Independent Payment Advisory Board , a group aimed at making sure Medicare costs don’t rise too quickly. Obamacare’s focus on Accountable Care Organizations , intended to make doctors, hospitals and other health professionals work together, is consolidating physician groups and hospitals into larger groups. The most important question in American medicine ought to be: ” Why is there no Steve Jobs of health care? ” Why is there no visionary who brings us undreamed of quality care and sends prices plunging?
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Obama gets earful from Senate Democrats about health law woes

U.S. President Barack Obama walks to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington after visiting the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, November 5, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

This is part of a push by senior officials to highlight the program in cities with the highest number of uninsured residents. SHAKEUP AT TECHNOLOGY OFFICE The government technology office that supervised has undergone a shakeup following the website’s troubled rollout. Tony Trenkle, head of technology at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is leaving the agency for the private sector, CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille said on Wednesday. She said he “oversees all of our IT functions” but declined to describe his role in the website or say whether he had been asked to leave. Obama, who routinely is engaged in political battles with congressional Republicans, is hearing complaints from his Democratic allies over the healthcare rollout. Some Democrats have joined Republicans in calling for an extension of the enrollment period for uninsured people to sign up for subsidized coverage.
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Detroit retirees get Feb. extension on health care

The city will negotiate in good faith, and as expeditiously as possible, the health benefit arrangement for the remainder of 2014 and beyond to create a long-term solution for the citys retiree health obligations. Next week, the city will mail letters to retirees with more information about the extension. The Official Committee of Retirees, which was appointed at the citys request to represent the interests of Detroits retirees during bankruptcy, agreed to the extension. The retiree committee is pleased with this development and looks forward to negotiating with the city in good faith on this very important issue of retiree health care, said Terri Renshaw, chair of the retiree committee. Orr has stated that the city needs to cut pensioners benefits, in part because unfunded retiree health care liabilities make up nearly $6 billion of the citys $18 billion in long-term obligations, according to a report he filed to support the citys bankruptcy filing.
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