Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Health Care Community Discussion Results - Part I

“Prevention needs to be a force in the health care system,” said one of the participants at the Health Care Community Discussion that I recently conducted. Prevention was a theme of our discussion. The Obama-Biden Transition Team is interested in knowing if attendees are familiar with the types of prevention services American should receive - mammography, flu shots and cholesterol screening - and had they gotten the recommended prevention. I’m glad to report that all the female participants have had a mammogram and all participants had flu shots and cholesterol screening this year.

Another participant said that “Health care begins at 65,” elaborating that once Medicare kicks, people are more likely to seek health care services since many were uninsured or underinsured.

Another area of concern is the disorganization and lack of integration of health care services. Electronic medical records, and particularly personal health records, along with improved health IT systems was offered as a solution.

The Obama-Biden Transition Team is interested in compelling personal stories from attendees about the need for health care reform. One participants said “I had to breakdown [caused by bipolar disorder] to get help. I needed a diagnosis before getting good care.” Another member of the group conveyed a story of newborns that were given a drastic overdose of medication.

More results to follow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Health Care Community Discussions

A few days after the election, the New York Times ran an article that included the following “Health Care – An Overhaul Will Have to Wait.” Today President-Elect Obama announced Senator Tom Daschle as Secretary of Health and Human Services AND Director of the [new] White House Office of Health Reform. Obama said “the time has come this year in this administration to modernize our health care system for the 21st century…If we want to overcome our economic challenges we must also finally address our health care challenges.” Perhaps health care will not have to wait after all.

Obama and Daschle intend to “make health care reform an open and inclusive process…to bring Americans into the conversation from the grass roots up.” To that end they are encouraging us to hold Health Care Community Discussions and to invite friends, family and colleagues to participate. And so I decided to do just that. Tom Daschle will be attending some of the Health Care Community Discussions and when I filled out the form on I made a compelling case for him to be at mine. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know if he’ll be there and I’ll let you know how it went.