Health Care Check-Up
The topic at this month’s Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce breakfast was healthcare reform. Community Health Network’s VP of Managed Care, Brian Schlagenhauf reviewed changes affecting healthcare for small businesses as well as consumers.
“Hospitals are losing more and more dollars to bad debt and charity care,” said Schlagenhauf. “Community, a not-for-profit system, loses $1/4 billion per year to people who don’t pay their bills or people who are not able to pay their bills.”
Part of the problem, he explained, is the severe demand on the system that Indiana’s lack of Medicaid expansion causes. So many people live “in the donut hole” of 100-138% of the government poverty level, they don’t qualify for help from Medicaid, yet are still unable to pay for healthcare themselves.
Thankfully equal playing fields in healthcare are being mandated now, he explained, meaning more uniform pricing across the board.
One of Community’s current focuses is 48-hour access to physicians. That means, if you need a cardiologist, they will get you an appointment within 48 hours (not guaranteed with your choice of doctor, but if you need the care, its there).
Wellness is another clear focus, to help people BEFORE they have a catastrophic health event.
Watch for a fuller story about health care reform in coming issues of Lawrence Community Newsletter.