Friday, December 11, 2009

Those people in Denver!

Oh yeah, I can talk silly about serious subjects, but only when people in our nation's capital are talking much more silly than I can. Think of me as stupid but with refreshing honesty. I'm silly with lemon fresh crystals!

Now those people in our nation's capital, those people in Denver finally took my advice on this health care thing. Like six months ago I wrote they should simply expand eligibility for Medicare/Medicaid. No big deal, no new massive government entity added to the dozens of other bloated whale corpses stinking up the beach.

So they've finally taken my advice... somewhat. I was rather succinct about it too!
I said AFTER they sign up these 46 Million uninsured (some fifty percent of whom may actually be US citizens) they should fix Medicare/Medicaid. Those folks in Denver don't do AFTER very well.

I've got twenty years experience in business, millions of dollars in cost savings under my belt. OK, so I don't have a belt anymore. Went in a yard sale, I think August. Now I'm doing the Jethro Bodine thing, holding up my pants with a length of rope. I've got millions in cost savings under my rope, so I know how to fix Medicare/Medicaid.

In business, cost improvement follows a cycle called, Plan, Do, Check, Act.
With real healthcare improvement, that would start by asking those actually involved in delivering the service why they think it costs so much. And you must ask honestly why pharmaceuticals in Canada are so much cheaper than in US. Gather info, that's Plan. And then you Do.

After that comes Check, Act. This is where you have metrics in place to learn if you got desired result, and react accordingly. Backup plans it's called. I must point out at this juncture? Those jerks in Denver don't do Check, Act very well, but neither do we jerks in business, not very often. Mostly it's on to the next adventure.

Now that I've had my fun with my clique and those jerks in Denver too? There are three simple ways to reduce the cost of healthcare in this country. The ways are simple, but doing them takes guts and determination... that's Mr. David's way of saying, ain't gonna happen.

1.) Cost of maintenance meds has to be reduced, in a way that doesn't stifle further innovation. Pharmaceutical companies aren't the evil enemy of American citizens. They're benefactors. Let's do this thing without demonizing those who've saved thousands of lives? And let's get Smiling Bob back, cause I miss him!
B.) Wherever possible, push services down the payscale. It's rife in healthcare. MRI tech for instance? What do they do actually? "Get up on this thing, and lay real still. I'm fixing to push the button." God bless 'em but I don't see $40K salary's added value there. Bet I could find someone to happily do that job for $30K.
3.) Increase the number of providers. That's pretty much cost reduction 101 there. All over this country, veterans are returning who have no kidding staunched blood from arteries with their own hands while screaming, "Stay with me, don't you die on me." I sorta think such service should be rewarded with a fast track approach to reward those who've served bravely. Get them to the highest level of competence they can attain, and provide retired phsyicians as personal mentors. I'm sorta thinking 25,000 new Doctors coming into practice in the next five years might lower the cost of an office visit somewhat.

The answers are fairly simple. Doing it takes guts, which we ain't got, seems like to me. I hate to think what Daniel Boone dying at the Alamo would think of us now.

Those people in our nation's capital? Those folks in Denver are just stupid!

No comments: