Skip to comments.Mayo Clinic Leery Of Public Health Plan
Posted on 07/11/2009 5:24:54 AM PDT by Son House
Concern about how a public health care plan might affect Minnesota's health care system dominated a public forum on Friday sponsored by Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Douglas Wood, who chairs the clinic's division of Health Care Policy & Research, said a public plan modeled after the Medicare system has the potential to do serious harm to health care in states like Minnesota where quality is high and costs are low.
"If it's a government-run plan with government price controls, that could be highly detrimental to states like Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and all across the northern tier of the United States," Wood said.
About 200 people gathered at the Minnesota History Center for the forum, including lawmakers, business leaders and health care company officials.
As Congress works on overhauling the nation's health care system, Mayo Clinic has been highlighted repeatedly by President Obama for its efficient and quality care.
As the health care debate ramps up, so have the efforts of the Mayo Clinic's Health Care Policy Center to get out its message that value must be part of the health care equation. Launched about four years ago, the center has consulted with 1,200 "thought leaders," as it calls them, and 1,400 patients to draft what it calls the four cornerstones for health care reform. They are: creating value to improve patient care, coordinating patient care, reforming the payment system to consider value and providing health insurance for all.
House Health Committee Chair Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth, told the audience he is concerned that Minnesota's health system will suffer if proposals to cut Medicare reimbursements and redistribute them go through -- especially if value is not taken into account.
"These places that are already lean and doing a good job will be severely hurt," Huntley said.
Obama's proposal includes a public plan. That has proven to be a divisive issue on Capitol Hill, where some economically conservative Democrats and Republicans have opposed the cost.
Mayo Clinic supports providing subsidies based on a sliding scale to help make sure that all patients are covered regardless of income level. The clinic contends that health care should be portable instead of tied to a job, and that everyone should be required to have it, Wood said. It also backs prohibiting people from being excluded from coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
The clinic has also put forward the idea of "value indexing" to determine how providers get paid. Wood said that the system would take into account patient outcomes and cost over a period of time. He added that the current bills in Congress contain "very little that reflects payment for value."
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who flew in Friday morning for the meeting, is sponsoring the Medicare Payment Improvement Act. It would require that Medicare payments be based on quality, not quantity, of care. Klobuchar said figuring out how to cut health care costs has to be part of the health reform effort. She said Medicare spending is projected to increase by 114 percent over the next 10 years.
"If we just simply change who is paying for something and do nothing to make the system more efficient, we are really not going to get where we want to go," she said.
She cited a 2008 study that found Medicare could save more than $50 billion per year over five years if health care providers are as efficient as Mayo Clinic in caring for patient with chronic diseases in the last five years of life.
Klobuchar said it is also critical that providers be rewarded for preventive care efforts, adding, "right now, doctors are paid to treat disease not prevent them."
Minnesota Medical Association representative Dr. Noel Peterson, a urologist at Olmsted Medical Center, agreed that it is critical that national health reform include provisions that reward providers who do a good job.
He added, "There is a real risk with this process in Washington that somehow what will happen, which has already happened in Medicare, is that we will get paid less than other areas do."
Mayo Clinic won't get the details till the bill is passed, then later written so it can be read.
It's going to cost high income businesses like a Mayo Clinic (taxpayers) much more than Democrats say, easily predictable.
MN just added another vote for socialized medicine by sending the clown, Franken, to D.C. MN and the rest of the upper tier states that keep Democrats in power will deserve it.
And Canadians will have to go to India for their health care, I suppose.
Join the crowd and why did it take you so long to make a statement.
It’s hard to find an article about any opposition to Government run Health Care, heck, it’s hard to spot the opposition in this one
“As Congress works on overhauling the nation’s health care system, ....”
Those words should send chills, fear and trembling into every American who hopes to be able to make use of our healthcare system at any time in the future.....
The Mayo clinic has always been about super specialization. You go to the Mayo Clinic when you want the best or have a condition that few other clinics or hospitals could diagnose or treat. Their kind of practice would be made extinct by Obamacare which is all about rationing, not treating illnesses or diseases that are rare or costly to treat and having government bureaucrats deciding when or if a patient should see a specialist. Under Obamacare the Mayo clinic would have to survive by treating wealthy patients from other countries who can’t get this kind of care under their own socialized systems while US patients can only look with envy.
doesn’t matter who’s leery of what- What Obama wants, Obama gets- end of story! We’re well on our way toward socialism, and there’s not a $^%^$% things we’re goign to do to stop it!
Which probably explains why about 7000 Canadians a year seek refuge from their own "health service" there.
Destroying America...one bill, one czar at a time.
“”Although there are some positive provisions in the current House Tri-Committee bill including insurance for all and payment reform demonstration projects the proposed legislation misses the opportunity to help create higher-quality, more affordable health care for patients. In fact, it will do the opposite.
In general, the proposals under discussion are not patient focused or results oriented. Lawmakers have failed to use a fundamental lever a change in Medicare payment policy to help drive necessary improvements in American health care. Unless legislators create payment systems that pay for good patient results at reasonable costs, the promise of transformation in American health care will wither. The real losers will be the citizens of the United States.””
“”A perspective on current health reform issues from Mayo Clinic Leadership
June 26, 2009
Mayo Clinic has been cited by President Obama on several occasions as well as in several media outlets
(most recently in the attached Time magazine article) as an example of quality, costeffective
health care that others around the United States can learn from. We believe there are many ways the federal
government can help incent all U.S. physicians and hospitals to focus on quality, not quantity, and
ultimately deliver lower cost care with better outcomes for all Americans.
Below are the perspectives of Mayo Clinic on key issues currently being debated regarding health care
The real losers will be the citizens of the United States
With Democrats in charge, we’ve already attained that status