Well let’s wrap up the week with a couple of interview reports.
First OPM Director Katherine Archuleta was interviewed by the Federal Times. The interview covers a lot of topics but does not address the FEHBP.
Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, who in the FEHBlog’s view is a real straightshooter, described U.S health care spending — in a Businesweek interview — as out of control because “Americans have an ‘unsustainable attitude’ that ignores the increasing cost of health care.” The article explains
Spending on drugs, hospitals and other services rose 3.7 percent in 2012, half the rate from before the recession that ended in 2009. While Bertolini ascribed the slowdown to the economy, the U.S. health-care law known as Obamacare also has encouraged collaborations among doctors and hospitals to coordinate patient care. Companies including Hartford, Connecticut-based Aetna, the third-biggest U.S. insurer, have started their own “accountable care” partnerships.
Instead of a medical system of solo practitioners, U.S. health-care needs to “bring the whole team together to get the right services” to patients, Bertolini said from Davos, where he was attending the World Economic Forum.
Americans are gaining more control and more responsibility for their medical bills, Bertolini said, with individuals paying about 40 percent of costs through premiums, deductibles and other charges.
With regard to consolidation, Fierce Healthcare reports on an American Hospital Association funded study identifying three ways that this ACA inspired realignment can help hospitals.
Finally, in a man bites dog kind of story, Government Health IT reports on an expert who is assuring provides that the ICD-10 implementation won’t be so bad. Here’s a link to the transcript of the expert’s presentation made possible by Florida Blue Cross, which is worth reading.