Toward Healthier Healthcare

It’s been two weeks now since I attended the INI/NBHC Forum, a meeting of the best minds in healthcare reform for improved human resource productivity.  In spite of everything going on in the world right now, in spite of massive ineptitude and inefficiency in healthcare, I am hopeful.

The big boys have finally gotten it.

Healthcare is so out of control now that corporations, providers and insurance companies alike are all seeing sharp downturns in their profits.  And, as I learned in college, once economics are affected, change is bound to occur.

I actually heard Big Insurance say that we need to empower people to take charge of their own health!!!  Insurance companies!!! Really!

Those words are the mantra of any holistic practitioner, but to hear an allopath say them is nothing less than amazing!  I wanted to march through the palatial halls of The Westin Riverwalk singing, “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!”

And, the most amazing part of the experinence was that this group believes the solution lies in developing Business Health Coalitions that work together in communities to solve healthcare problems and in encouraging their employees to purchase healthcare benefits based on the success-rate of the practitioner (known as value-based benefits.)  The national organization can be found at:

Here’s an example of the programs NBCH supports.  Follow the link below for the rest of the story.

MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 23, 2009) – The National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) gave UnitedHealthcare a 2009 eValue8 Health Plan Innovation Award for programs that help engage physicians and patients to achieve better health outcomes.

UnitedHealthcare’s Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program and Diabetes Health Plan were recognized by the NBCH for their ability to help enhance health care safety and quality while reducing costs. Both initiatives use UnitedHealthcare’s industry-leading technology and data resources and integrate patient and physician information in order to help drive more informed health care decisions.

“UnitedHealthcare’s Patient-Centered Medical Home program and Diabetes Health Plan were selected because both are the kind of innovations that are significant drivers of health status,” said Dennis White, senior vice president of value based purchasing at NBCH. “Purchasers are very interested in innovations like these as they align incentives, restructure care delivery and provide tools that keep people healthy.”

“We are honored to receive this award from the National Business Coalition on Health as recognition that our company’s continued innovation is helping people live healthier lives. The Patient-Centered Medical Home and Diabetes Health Plan are examples of how consumer information and education, comprehensive program support, and financial incentives help physicians and patients tackle rising health care costs while driving better health outcomes,” said Sam Ho, M.D., UnitedHealthcare executive vice president and chief medical officer.

NBCH has community health coalitions in Dallas and Houston and all over the country.  Sad to say, we do not presently have one in San Antonio.  However I did notice that the City has job applications posted for a Community Health Program Director for Weight Loss and for four program managers, so I feel that change is afoot.

The research arms for these organizations has determined that Wellness Centers pay back at the ratio of 3-to-1 to as high as 5-to-1.  Researchers have also determined that healthy employees are more productive, the mind and body work in tandem (not a news flash to those of us in holistic health) and that routing employees to one central triage nurse who can look at them as a whole person is more cost effective and makes the employees feel better and heal faster, too.

Who knows?  At the current evolutionary rate, they might even come to understand that Big Pharma actually creates more problems than it solves.  To add injury to insult, Big Pharma is now taking highly successful products like acidolpholus and creating a pharma-brand and making claims like, “Studies have shown that our brand most closely replicates a newborn digestive system.”  A Fibromyalgia client of mine actually said she actually was told this at her doctor’s office.

In spite of Big Pharma, and their nefarious ways, I’m still hopeful.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.