Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Health Care Reform: Health Care is Moving to the Outpatient Arena

I have a few more thoughts on health care reform that I would like to share before the inauguration next Tuesday. Therefore, I will be posting a video blog every day until then. Please stay tuned, and let’s be sure to continue the conversation on this very important topic!

It is clear to us that much of the health care once provided within the walls of hospitals is now provided in the outpatient arena (which includes facilities such as ambulatory surgery centers). This shift is largely made possible by new technology, and we expect this trend to continue. This is one of many reasons we are working to modify CHRISTUS’ portfolio to include one-third non-acute care.

This shift is important in health care reform because it seems that many suggested changes to the reimbursement structures of Medicare and Medicaid largely focus on how hospitals and physicians are paid. These discussions will soon be rendered unimportant, since care is rapidly moving to other delivery models. Therefore, funding and reimbursement discussions should center around innovative ways to not only deliver care but also keep people healthier.

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