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A Bold Approach to Healthcare Reform: Eliminate Insurance Companies
Date:11/13/2008

A Bold Approach to Healthcare Reform: Eliminate Insurance Companies, Use Patient Smart Cards - CEO of Jackson Healthcare Proposes Plan to Make Health Services More Accessible, Cost Efficient

Alpharetta, GA (PRWEB) November 13, 2008 -- Frequent headlines in the commercial press and medical publications point out the need for major overhaul of healthcare delivery in the United States. What's missing from most healthcare reform proposals, according to Richard Jackson, CEO of Jackson Healthcare, is a critical look at the insurance industry. In his view, too often insurance companies are the problem--not the solution needed to make quality medical care more accessible to consumers and financially beneficial to doctors who provide it

The prevalence and indispensable nature of insurance companies made sense prior to the technology era, says Mr. Jackson. 'But with advances in computerized transactions and innovative smart card technology, insurance companies have become unnecessary middlemen that merely complicate and increase the cost of healthcare," he explains.

The latest edition of the Jackson & Coker Industry Report, a monthly online publication, spotlights Mr. Jackson's analysis, entitled "CEO Proposes A Radical Plan to Revamp the Healthcare System." The proposal is intended to foster dialogue among all sectors of the healthcare community and consists of eight major components:

  • Eliminate insurance companies: At least 24% of every healthcare dollar goes toward insurance firms' administrative expenses and payment processes. The use of computerized technology--including innovative smart card technology to improve healthcare services--would make middlemen insurers unnecessary.

  • Streamline healthcare reimbursement: Prompt reimbursement to doctors providing direct patient care can be accomplished by adoption of a Personal Health Card (PH Card) similar to a debit or credit card with a memory chip. Drawing upon the speed and efficiency of ATM withdrawals, medical practices could avoid billing disputes as well as time-consuming collection efforts.

  • Central repository for consumer health information: Electronic storage of patients' important health information--including x-rays, lab tests, disease management protocols--would make it easier for clinicians to provide more accurate and timely medical care.

  • Establish a reimbursement trust. Under the Jackson Plan, all payers (Medicare, Medicaid, employers, self-insured, and third-party payers) would pay premiums into a nationwide trust with the funds being properly invested, thus lowering the cost of health care and furthermore eliminating the need for insurance companies.

  • National Physician Review Panels (NPRS'): Regional Panels of experienced, board certified physicians would control protocols for patient care and decide what procedures and treatment plans are medically necessary.

  • Reduce malpractice and defensive medicine costs: Currently physicians order unnecessary and expensive tests in order to reduce malpractice exposure and to stave off costly lawsuits. Under the Jackson Plan, the National Physician Review Panels would review malpractice claims and decide which merit litigation, thus eliminating approximately 90% of medical lawsuits.

  • Create national medical fee schedule: Approved by the Physician Panels, a national fee schedule would standardize the costs of patient care, though taking into account cost-of-living adjustments associated with distinctive geographical regions. The Plan would allow for income differentiation based upon variables such as individual provider's personal efficiency, quality of care, and level of customer service,
  • Provide incentives to physicians and private industry: The Plan proposes incentives for cutting medical care costs. Intended results: lower premiums, improved innovative technology, reduction in pharmaceutical costs, and more efficient and cost-effective practice management.

The article positions Mr. Jackson's proposal against current reform proposals supporting "mandatory health insurance for all." In his assessment:

"Under today's antiquated system, healthcare is neither efficient nor affordable, and making it mandatory isn't going to change that. Technology now provides us the opportunity to return doctors to the practice of medicine, eliminate the middle man, improve the quality of healthcare, and make it affordable and accessible to everyone."

Richard Jackson serves as Chief Executive Officer of Jackson Healthcare and was a founding principal of Jackson & Coker, begun in 1978. He welcomes informed opinions and questions concerning his proposal.

About Jackson & Coker

Jackson & Coker is a prominent physician recruitment firm with 30 years of continuous business operation. Headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, the company places physicians in over 40 medical specialties as well as advanced practitioners (such as CRNAs) in temporary (locum tenens) assignments and permanent placement opportunities.

Jackson & Coker is a member of a "family of companies" known as Jackson Healthcare (JH). The corporation provides information technology, turnkey Anesthesia management, as well as human resources solutions to hospitals and healthcare organizations across the country. Jackson Healthcare has the distinction of being selected among "Atlanta's Top 10 Best Places to Work" and designated by Inc Magazine as among "The Fastest Growing U.S. Private Companies."

More information concerning Jackson & Coker--along with the monthly Jackson & Coker Industry Report--can be found at jacksoncoker.com.

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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/11/prweb1602344.htm


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