Managed Care

 

Continued Health Cost Inflation Demands That We Work Together

MANAGED CARE February 2002. © MediMedia USA
Editor's Memo

Continued Health Cost Inflation Demands That We Work Together

John A. Marcille
MANAGED CARE February 2002. ©MediMedia USA

John A. Marcille

With American health care in turmoil (have you known a time in the last, oh, 40 years when it wasn't?), it's easy to point fingers. It takes more effort to suggest thoughtful remedies. But following through — now that's the hard part.

As this issue of Managed Care came together, it was not lost on us that its content is prescriptive, perhaps even activist. Some oxes will be gored, and some of our readers' ways challenged. We don't necessarily agree or disagree with anything between our covers; rather, we are a forum for ideas that stimulate discussion.

At the root of health care's turmoil is that we have no health care system. System implies connection, but there are few industries as disjointed as health care. Our cover story, by two Milliman USA partners, examines how competing constituencies pushing various agendas are contributing to runaway expenditures. The writers' antidote is one part sacrifice and many parts common sense.

Perhaps nowhere in health care is there a bigger disconnect than in behavioral treatment. Our article on women's mental health highlights the risks in separating mental from medical care, and suggests that by neglecting prevention and risk-screening strategies, health plans have left education up to pharmaceutical manufacturers, whose DTC ads keep medical directors awake at night.

Alan M. Muney, MD, chief medical officer for Oxford Health Plans, adds to our theme, arguing not only that evidence-based medicine should be the standard, but that physicians be held accountable — pecuniarily and through license suspension. If that seems harsh, consider the IOM's 1999 report on medical errors, which fingered practice variation and lack of systems.

The IOM report brought consistent attention to the need for practice improvement, which is the basis for a new bimonthly column on how innovative ideas in this realm are being put into practice. Our maiden column is an overview of concepts to be covered in the months to come.

Meetings

Private Health Insurance Exchanges Conference Washington, D.C. October 7–8, 2014
National Healthcare Facility Management Summit Palm Beach, FL October 16–17, 2014
National Healthcare CFO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
National Healthcare CXO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
Innovative Member Engagement Operations For Health Plans Las Vegas, NV October 20–21, 2014
4th Partnering With ACOs Summit Los Angeles, CA October 27–28, 2014
2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014