Monday, January 2, 2012

Interesting New Years Healthcare Retrospective

by John McDonough.  He touches on the irony of  the potential rebirth of provider rate regulation on the 20th anniversary of its execution.  He condenses decades of history into a paragraph:
In the late 1980s, reducing the size of the hospital system was an unattainable policy obsession, and in the 1990s, the deregulated market made it happen with stunning efficiency. This is a clear-cut case of "be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it." While the downsizing eliminated excess capacity, it also enabled market consolidation triggering widespread hospital payment and health insurance cost inflation over the last ten years.
 I wish Oregon had someone of his caliber and commitment to public engagement writing about healthcare.  What could such a person tell us about Kitzhaber, about CCO's or the insurance exchange?

As a followup question, that's the first reference I've seen to a  perception in the 80's of excess capacity.  What's that about?

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