How to Save Our Health care System
By Phillip Ghee
Dear Health care provider, Organization and Concerned Citizen, included in this package is information critical to your quality of life as an individual and to the survival of American health organizations and perhaps that of the Nation.
After reviewing this document, you should imagine what numbers would fill in the blanks relating to cost incurred by your organization, institution or health insurance plan. Then once again, review the innovations I am proposing. We need to mount a campaign to promote new modes of thought in this nation. Armed with the new facts and figures that you have deduced, I would suggest that you demand of Politicians, Medical Agencies and, Consumer groups to take note of what I am proposing.
By no means do I intend to imply that the vast majority of Americans would opt for the alternative options, plans and method of treatment that I will introduce in this article. However, I do contend that based on human nature alone, a significant number of customers would select, if offered, the alternatives am I putting forth; such would generate savings enough to offers greater access to medical care for all and, at reduced cost.
Our Health care System in Collapse
We stand at a crux in our history as a nation perhaps, the most crucial juncture it has faced since the division and calamity brought on by the Civil War threaten to rip it apart. As David Walker, the Comptroller General of the United States (Government Accountability Office) purported in his July 8, 2008, interview on ‘60 Minutes’, the biggest economic peril facing the nation is being ignored and, as Walker sees it, the survival of the republic is at stake. Walker cites that the first baby boomer will reach 62 and be eligible for early retirement of Social Security January 1, 2008. They’ll be eligible for Medicare just three years later.
Those of us, like Mr. Walker, who are observant enough and cognizant enough to see the proverbial death blow descend as such an influx, will undoubtedly collapse an already weak, overburden and rapidly deteriorating health care system. These massive health care entitlement programs we can no longer afford, as Mr. Walker concludes, which I contend alone could reek havoc, are but a fraction of the combined obligations, liabilities and medical incursion that, unlike the Civil War, will be triumphant in ripping the nation apart and send it spiraling into despair and chaos. The United States spend 16% of Gross Domestic Product on Health care. Those health care cost have been tracked at rising two thirds the rate of inflation. Currently (2007), the WHO lists the United States at 1st in Health care cost and 37th in quality of care and service.
Even the most stubborn and delusional optimist among us should be moved to take their heads out of the sand when other crippling financial legacies are thrown into the mix, such as (the seemly never ending) War in Iraq and other catastrophic instabilities facing our nation i.e. Depletion of Natural Resources and/or the escalating cost in obtaining them, Weather Related Disasters and Climatic Disruptions and, the Decline of America as the chief player in the world market of finance, industry and commerce and trade. Surely even a stead fast optimist should be moved to question whether or not we are marching towards the perilous cliffs of doom, like lemmings, wearing rose colored glasses, inebriated in a lotus induced stupor.
Fortunately, there are many out there among us who heed the cries and appeals of respectable renowned prophets like Mr. Walker. And I would assume that there are others out there in positions of leadership, who are able to cast their sphere of influence and, who are willing or, may at this very moment, be calculating the impending health care disaster and are making efforts to alert the citizenry. Hopefully after reading this article, you will become one of them.
However, being informed of a problem does not inherently imply that they have the necessary ideals and solutions to address it. Because you have taken you head out of the sand is of but little avail if you simply run around the peripherally of your dug hole, in circles, as your disaster, your annihilator, advances ever so stead forward to your path.
Seldom are problems, of this scope and magnitude, which have never been faced before, appeased by exercises, tactics or methods used in the past, no matter how seemly successful they may thought to have been at that time. For if they truly had been successful, the prevailing situation calling for their address, may have never been birthed. In fact, often, it is those very attempts to address such problems that may have indirectly or adversely contributed to their growth and sustainability.
What is often needed is fresh measures and tactics, a new way to encounter the problem and in the best case, a new paradigm shift in not only how we look at the problem but evaluate trends which contribute to the formation of the problem and alternate patterns of lifestyle and modifications of thought that will lessen its impact on society and finally teach us to embrace bold new concepts and creative ideology in solving the problem.
I would like to put forward such a concept and foster such creative ideology. At its core, lies a simple concept: CHOICE. However unlike several other ideologies that also involve the word’ choice’. I hold that this usage does not, nor is its intention to, cross over, invalidate or to challenge spiritual references and their mandates. I hold that use of the word ‘ choice’ in this context is not a ruse for setting precedent in order to lead the way to exalt more extreme topics such as Euthanasia or Right to Die. I am using the word’ choice ‘as to explore other ways we look at treating terminally ill and end of life stage patients, or rather Persons.
I believe that by offering the individual new creative choices as to how they choose to manage that transitional phase of their lives’ will be the most crucial element in diffusing the ticking time bomb of health care collapse whose fuse even now singes the blast point. Monies saved in one area of health care especially one that is as draining as treating the terminally ill (in the methods that we use today) and End of Life Stage patients can be used to affect better treatment and care to other areas of health care demanding our attention i.e. State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Medicare and Medicaid, and the teeming masses of the under and uninsured.
What I propose is take the proved concept of Hospice care to new level of appeal and a new dimension of implementation.
What if as a consumer, as a person with choice, was given the option to elect on their insurance coverage, a plan that would allow them, if diagnosed with a terminal disease or condition, where the prognosis of life expectancy is given at ten years or best, with the most intensive modalities of treatment available at the time or, five years at best with compassionate treatment; to Live the remainder of their days on an island retreat, in the fashion the Club Med members of the 80’s were entreated to when they elected to use Club Med as their Vacation Plan preference of choice.
A recipient of such plan would choose to forgo mind boggling expensive treatments such as Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy and the likes of Investigational Drug Treatments. Pre-existing conditions, not related to the terminal illness would (if customer so desire) be treated via outpatient medications.
Such recipient would have also elected to forgo mechanical and artificial life sustaining equipment and services if they do not impact or enhance the quality of life. These Persons of Choice would be allowed to complete their transition in dignity and in comfortable surroundings devoid of Emergency Medical Intervention aside from Comfort Measures Only.
Although not an accountant, health care administrator or number cruncher, I have enough presence of mind and insight to ascertain that the cost of providing such luxury accommodations as those offered by Club Med to its patrons would be but a mere fraction of what it would cost that terminally ill or end of life stage patient to manage their transition, given only the current options available to them today. Let’s explore some of those options.
_______________________ ___________________ ___________________
Fee-for-service plans: If you have this type of health insurance, you can choose any doctor, change doctors any time and you can go to any hospital anywhere in the United States. You pay a monthly fee, called a premium. Every year, you have to pay a certain amount of money (known as the deductible) before your insurance will pay your medical expenses. After you have met your deductible, your insurance will pay a set percentage of the bill.
Projected cost of providing 5 years of aggressive treatment for terminally ill and/or end of life stage patient(s)
This is a suggestion of the financial reference points that should be taken into consideration when doing your evaluation:
Cost to individual___ Cost incurred by plan’s host__ Cost to Hospital _____
Outpatient Prescription Cost_______
Cost in projected Medical Litigation_____ Ancillary Medical Cost due to Condition___
Emergency Room visits etc.___________
Health maintenance organizations (HMO). The HMO will usually cover most expenses after a minimal co-payment. HMOs may also limit your choice of providers to those within their approved provider network.
Point-of-service plans (POS): A point of-service plan is a type of HMO. The primary care doctors in a POS plan usually make referrals to other doctors in the plan.
Cost of providing 5 years of aggressive treatment for terminally ill and/or end of life stage patient(s)
Preferred provider organization (PPO): The preferred provider is selected by plan holder.
Cost of providing 5 years of aggressive treatment for terminally ill and/or end of life stage patient(s)
A NEW WAY TO LOOK AT HEALTH CARE OPTIONS AND METHODS OF TREATMENT
Also not a Hospital Administrator or Medical Planner, I am just a common Joe, and I will offer this proposal to those mentioned parties for the finer details but, this is how I foresee the establishment of such a facility geared to match the amenities afforded in a Club Med like vacation package to those individual customers electing to choose such newly offered insurance options.
As a collaboration between various Insurance companies and their hospitals of preference and, with the backing of and the protection afforded by the Federal Government these institutions will combine their resources to purchase, rent or commander tropical or resort friendly Island chains, Island or, large portions of Island(s) to establish a Hospice Paradise environment for recipients of such services.
Depending of the level of the plan opted for; the recipient would be allowed to take or to have paid-for visits of a specified number of family members to that location as such option of the plan entails.
The arrangement at the facility would allow for varying degree of service and lodging to the customer depending of the level of service and need required by the customer or once again, by the level of service opted for in the option of the plan selected.
All accommodations on the island would be provided free of charge to members and their selected guest. This would include airfare to and from the island by member and selected quest. Airfare is also included and flights will be arranged for those members who have completed their transition and have made it known that they wish their final resting place to be elsewhere’s. Members who wish their final resting place to be on the island would have such services performed as an adjunct to their coverage (regardless of plan selected).
This would include all meals provided by dinning facilities maintained by the plan although great effort would be made to encourage restaurants and a host of private institutions to locate on the island, including shopping venues and other forms of entertainment. Patronage of private establishments would be the financial responsibility of the member.
Other free accommodations and amenities would include: RECREATIONAL ACTIVES :Fishing, Scuba Diving, Hiking, etc. and a whole host of other less exhausted activities for those more impaired. Group Activities, Counseling and Religious services. All of these services and amenities would extend to the guest, as long as they are in attendance with the member at the time of the activity.
As stated earlier, the island would host various living arrangements and accommodations depending of type of coverage selected. Such arrangements could run the gamut from Beach-side Bungalows to Assisted Living Apartments to Community Hospice settings. Full nursing services as condition(s) dictates.
The island would host a full service hospital but the intent of the hospital would be to treat those conditions pre-existing of the terminal illness and those mishaps and occurrences that might befall the customer during their stay i.e. slips and falls, first aid care, colds and flues, etc. In the event some major mishap, requiring some sort of extensive medical attention would befall the member while during their stay at the island, for which they wish to be treated for; transportation would be provided free of charge but member would be financially responsible to the treating facility for such care. Guest of members would be entitled to the same free transportation off the island but, they would be financially responsible for any care administered to them while on the island.
Emergency Management and Disaster Planning
Due to the beneficial impact upon the nation and the significant saving afforded the Federal Government (for they may even elect to send terminally ill patients under their care to such Island(s) i.e. Veterans – recipients of various Federal Entitlement Plans. I would hold that not only should they financially participate in the establishment of such Islands but under the auspices of Homeland security that they patrol the waterways surrounding such Island and be ready to implement evacuations and/or services in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
Simple, act now, act a new, and thwart off the descending crisis.
As I stated earlier, I am just a common Joe. There are limits to the amount of research that I am able to conduct or willing to do. Filling in the blanks for the requested stats should come from those Individuals and organizations much more creditable than I.
Also this year has shown, within my own city, the ideas of creativity and major innovations geared towards a new future that I have put forth (in some cases) have been either adopted or modified to fit into the programs of politicians or other interest and sadly to say, I have barely received any credit or even a decent thank you, not to mention any compensation what so ever.
Yet being a person with insight and revolutionary and innovated ideas, I still continue the cause of educating the educated and perhaps saving this nation of ours. Maybe one day history will remember the source?
Please circulate, keep the ball moving and the conversation going, we got a nation to save here, get involved so one day you can proudly say that you participated in changing not only the way we changed health care but the way we view living our lives and facing our mortality. Variations of this entry can be read at:
How to Save Our Health care System. By Phillip Ghee. We stand at a crux in our history as a nation perhaps, the most crucial juncture it has faced since the …
http://www.insurancebroadcasting.com/072707.htm - 100k - Cached - Similar pages
How to Save Our Health care System. By Phillip Ghee ….. Independent Agents seek reform of regulatory system via targeted federal legislation…
http://www.managedcareinfo.com/current_news.htm - 118k - Cached - Similar pages
To the Media, Press and other Health care sites evaluating the publish ability of this article:
Wikipedia:Articles for creation/2007-08-16 - Wikipedia, the free …
Please now follow the link back to Wikipedia:Articles for creation. ……NEWSCAST How to Save Our Health care System. By Phillip Ghee. …
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_creation/2007-08-16 - 236k - Cached - Similar pagesMY MISSION
Look I am trying to do what the Political Leaders, Academia and, The Intelligentsia has failed to do; Wake Up the People and possibly save the nation. If the article is not sanctified or grammatically pleasing enough for your taste, clean it up (use what *Vonnegut would have sarcastically referred to as “your big brains”) then print it anyway. What’s more important form or function?
*Read Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘ Galapagos’ in your spare time, a humorous fictional account of how so called big brained thinking failed to avoid a disaster of monumental proportions. Let’s hope in this real life account of an impending disaster that life does not’t imitate art.
Phillip Gheep.s. Please print in its full or greater length, if that does not meet your guideline as a letter than may I suggest that you print as an article or opinion piece, a 250 word limit is much too! limiting on the magnitude of what I am trying to accomplish here. Either that or inclusive editing. Thank you for your intention and attention.
Comments can be sent to author at: email@example.com