Thursday, July 23, 2009

Models for Reform?

President Obama often cites the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic as models for providers in a new era of health care reform.

Question: Can these two models be replicated throughout the country?

Answer: Not likely. Certainly not in the near term.

The Mayo Clinic is unique but has replicated itself a few times, and the Cleveland Clinic is unique and to the best of our knowledge has not been replicated.

Even if these models could be replicated, it is unlikely they could be replicated in any but some urban areas. And if they could, the transition cost in most markets would be immense, and who would pay for that? (the new Mayo Clinics are in high growth and very prosperous areas, Florida and Arizona)

Can we learn anything from these clinics. Possibly yes. Can we duplicate these models in other areas? Not likely, and certainly not in the near term.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Status of Reform

As of today, there are as many as five (5) plans active in Congress, President Obama is getting impatient, Congressional leaders are counseling patience, and no one knows if any action will be taken before the August Congressional recess.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Battle of the (Senate) Titans

Senators Kennedy (Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee) and Senator Dodd (Kennedy’s wingman while he fights cancer) are seemingly lined up as opposition forces to Senator Baucus (Chairman, Senate Finance Committee ) on some aspects of health care reform legislation. Various theories are evolving:

1) this is a real dispute
2) this is a clever ruse to allow a compromise that gives political cover to all types of Democrats
3) this is just some foreplay designed to allow Kennedy to be a hero one more time, with serious cred to Baucus, a rising power in the Senate
4) some combination of #1 - #3

Kennedy and Dodd’s latest: