Health care politics could jeopardize health care business opportunities

Health care politics could jeopardize health care business opportunities

The American healthcare industry is poised to take advantage of the growing global population and expanding global middle-class, if we take five steps to save the industry here, a new book argues.

“We are the No. 1 world innovation leader, in healthcare products and services, and the world population will increase by 1.3 billion people between now and 2030, during the same time the global middle class will grow from two billion people today to five billion people in 2030,” said Edmund L. Valentine, author of  Healthcare, Will U.S. Politics Kill Our Politics? He is the CEO of the Stamford, Conn.-based MMC International, a health care consulting firm.

Another opportunity for the American health care industry is the expansion of the senior citizen population, which will grow by one billion people worldwide by 2030, he said.

“Health care is a skyrocketing opportunity, not a burden,” he said.

“They are all customers for our products,” Valentine said, who has spent the last 27 years as a consultant to health care businesses. Valentine’s firm spent $1.8 million researching the state of the health care industry today.

Because of country’s industry leadership and a market that is about to explode, America must not do anything that will disrupt exploit that opportunity, he said.

“The issues we dig into have nothing to do with politics,” said the consultant, who has been the editor of multiple editions of MMC International’s Trends Shaping U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry Strategies.

“Most of our people in the health care industry, in manufacturing, are fighting to retain their leadership—and politics is the cost of doing business, so we don’t spend time on politics,” said Valentine, a decorated Green Beret veteran of Vietnam.

The author said he wrote a non-partisan book from the perspective of someone inside the health care business out of frustration with how serious issues and problems are twisted, distorted and condensed into sound bites. “It is a reaction to all the misinformation out there from both sides.”

Valentine said there are five steps to take, some of them have already started, and others need to start right away.

“The first thing is it to digitize all medical records and medical information,” he said.

“The second thing is something that was started by the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic and our best institutions, and that is shifting compensation from procedures to outcomes and from fee-for-service to wellness,” he said. In this model, the medical facility charges a flat fee for an incident, such as a broken arm, and in this case all services associated with the broken arm are covered by the one fee.

Edmund L. Valentine

Fee-for-procedure gives the facility the incentive to heal the patient quickly, whereas fee-for-service creates an environment where the facility is paid for each service, thus the incentive is to prolong and expand treatment wastefully.

America’s current health care insurance system is a legacy of federal wage controls during the Second World War. Kaiser Shipyards on the West Coast and the auto companies in Detroit, unable to raise wages to attract and keep workers, offered generous health insurance plans.

The plans were not expensive because in the 1940s there was not a lot doctors could do for someone, who was seriously ill, he said. “Today, our medical knowledge has exploded and our costs have exploded.”

Valentine said the third step is to treat health insurance as a commodity, where companies only compete based on their reputation and price.

The fourth step is the further industrialization of healthcare, he said.

“Industrialization created our great economy,” he said. “Allow the market and competition can fix the inefficiencies in the system.”

If America spends $2.8 trillion every year on healthcare, $1 trillion is wasted and adds nothing to the actual health of patients, he said.

The fifth step is that we need to have financial incentives and tax policies that encourage the retention in the United States of high technology, innovation, as well as high technology manufacturing, he said.

Other helpful reforms would allow insurance companies to compete across state lines, maintain America’s education system, and reform the country’s immigration priorities, so that talented people from the around the world can work here, he said.

Regardless of  whom won the election, the changes brought by President Barack Obama’s 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will not be reversed, he said.

Valentine said he is convinced that President Obama will modify parts of the ACA, but for the most part, it will continue towards full implementation.

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  • JohnGalt

    Was this article written before the plaque of ObamaCare became the law of the land? The free market initiatives he endorses were suggested (weakly) by those in opposition to the Kenyan’s socialist wet dream, LONG before it passed.

    It also sounds like he wants us health care professionals to function as salaried drones in a highly structured system. Much of the “fat” he wants to trim from the system, will come down to stark reductions in the renumeration fo healthcare providers. If we won’t accept it, make way for your new rubber-stamped doctor from Zimbabwe (“reform the country’s immigration priorities”).

    Well, Mr. Valentine, how about a healthy cut in the cost of the ridiculously expensive medical equipment you expect us to purchase every year to “stay current”?

    I suppose this burgeoning world middle class he is referring to is in Asia, because much of the rest of the world’s economies are stagnant. When the shoe finally drops in the unfathomably broke United States, many others will be caught in the cataclysm. In any case, with the wet-blanket of anti-productivity and anti-innovation policies of Commie Care, I don’t believe Asia will be looking to the US for any developments in health care technology.

    Additionally, I see nothing about reigning in unaccountable, nothing to lose, trial lawyer scum.

    This guy is an author and a “consultant”. I wonder if he has ever sat knee to knee with a SINGLE patient with their complex medical, emotional and financial needs and maladies.

    Across the board folks, the quality of your healthcare is about to take a precipitous nosedive, just as many of your bodies are going into the long decline of aging.

  • Joe_Farnakle

    These are ADDITIONAL reforms that must happen in the healthcare system. Other industrialized nations have the same or better standard of care, but it ends up consuming HALF as much of their economy in terms of GDP. The US has for decades allowed healthcare expenses to spiral out of control, and the steps taken to date by ACA are only just the first of many that will be needed.

  • Dustoff

    Not quite joe. Our healthcare cost soar because of lawyers. Which if you cared to check. Nothing was said about that in the 2500 pages of O-dumber care.

    PS… I’ll remember your post when the next person from Canada comes to Harbour-view is Seattle for medical care, that they can’t get in Canada.

  • DemsareSocialists

    Obamacare – not ACA – has more to do with controlling the public than improving healthcare in this country. The next few years will prove me correct on this. I don’t give a shit if the rest of the world suffers now that we have under taken socialized medicine. They and we deserve what ever pain and suffering we get because we voted for it. Joe – where was tort -reform in Obamacare? If we truly want to reign in costs – that has to be a part of it. Where is portability and free-market competition among states? That alone would have saved people billions. Alas, we are stuck with socialized medicine. Good bye United States. It was nice knowing you.

  • Joe_Farnakle

    That’s complete nonsense. The core of ACA was always about providing access to insurance. Tort reform, while it can be useful, was a false premise as being the center of any real solution for reining in costs- it’s been tried in several states but failed to deliver any meaningful savings in terms of healthcare expenses.

  • Dustoff

    You proved my point. It’s was never about health care & cost. If it had been insurance cost /lawyers would have been part of the bill. But as usual when it comes to lib’s. They would never touch the people who feed them.

    Just like the Bed-wetter bill. It was all about making the bucks for lawyers. Not about equal pay. Which is already the law.

  • allouchsit

    AT MOST, lawyers add less than 1% to the cost of healthcare. I know, I was a medical malpractice attorney for years. The allegation that they are a MAJOR cause of soaring healthcare costs is ridiculous.

  • RenegadeScholar

    Other industrialized nations have the same or better standard of care, but it ends up consuming HALF as much of their economy in terms of GDP.

    I don’t know where you are getting your numbers from ( I suspect they are WAAAY off, especially wrt NHS, but let’s just accept them anyway.

    Much of the industrialized (and non-industrialized world) is benefitting incredibly from the dynamic US medical industry–especially pharmaceuticals. The French used to almost compete with the US, but they are woefully behind now.

    Just like with defense, these bureaucratic nightmares benefit from the investments the USA makes. The less-bureaucratic US system for years has led innovation in medical devices and medicines.

    That’s ending already.

    My friend, who created medical devices, says there is no way he could do it again with the changes Obama has made. Crushing regulations are already crushing innovation.

    We’ll coast for a while on what we’ve made and then stagnate. The statists will blame everything but themselves, say that we need more “investments,” meaning higher taxes, and the blind and dumb leftist mob will agree. They will have completely forgotten (or been trained by the State Propaganda Machine like they are now) that there ever was a dynamic medical device market. They will be trained that people constantly suffered and died under the “old” system, and will be told nothing of the suffering and dying under the “new” system.
    Like children they will look to the government to save them, and the government will agree to do so in return for more taxes and less freedom.
    And nothing will improve.
    And then they’ll blame everyone else again and say we need more “regulations, investments, and reform” again.
    And nothing will improve.

  • RenegadeScholar

    The US has for decades allowed healthcare expenses to spiral out of control

    Government hyper-regulation has caused costs to spiral out of control.

    I can’t for example, get an insurance policy that does not cover complications due to diabetes (since I don’t eat sugar), and therefore get a lower price. They are REQUIRED BY REGULATION to include that, so they have no choice but to raise the price–or go out of business.

    Which means, of course, that we need more regulation. Right?

  • Joe_Farnakle

    It IS about health care and costs. Having insurance coverage ensures access to care, instead of turning a cancer victim out into the snow if they can’t pay for their chemo right then and there. You can’t get free emergency room care for that. And for all those “free emergency room care” situations that the right keeps pointing to – SOMEONE ELSE ends up picking up the tab against their will. When everyone has insurance, that dynamic changes. Similarly, PREVENTATIVE CARE such as what is made available through health insurance has been proven time and time again in study after study to significantly REDUCE longterm healthcare costs. You need to look at the big picture.

  • Dustoff

    Based on what? Ask the doc’s & hospitals what they pay.
    I work at one and see the cost.

  • Dustoff

    turning a cancer victim out into the snow


    Right… you are So wrong.

    PS… what did O-dumber say about the old and instead of getting the operation, just taking a pain pill instead.

  • redwolf6911

    Wow, you just keep on spreading your bilge. Our current healthcare system is the best in the world. In fact leaders of other countries come here rather than stay in their own countries. By the way, I have been in healthcare for years and understand it far better than you do. You are using the Obama talking points rather than displaying any type of knowledge of what is involved. One thing that will be worse is the decreased research into diseases and new medications. The higher ages by Obama’s National Health recommendations for cancer screenings will result in higher mortality rates. These other countries such as England and Canada already have higher death rates from Cancer than we do. The main thing is that the calibration rates in these other countries are computed differently than the CDC. So you love the ACA so much, well then by all means you deserve it. The rest of us don’t want it.

  • redwolf6911

    Yes, you are absolutely correct. I know exactly what will be happening to Seniors for now, then it will go to the disabled and other populations who will have no worth to Obama and his loons. Of course Congress, Obama, their aides, labor unions and on and on are exempt. 716 Billion out of Medicare to fund 1/3 of Obamacare. Words out of Obama’s mouth in an interview. Then the IPAB will make even more care. If you have elderly parents or grandparents, they will be lucky to get ANY kind of care.

  • Michael T Lyster

    Digitizing medical information is nothing but a means by which to allow its sale, and UNfettered access by government and other entities.

    “But no, no: we have ways to ensure the security of your information, citizen!”

    Bu*****t. ‘Sealed’ divorce records find themselves on the front page during elections. ‘Secure’ Email addresses get accessed. Anyone who truly thinks their information will remain secure and privileged is, well…probably a liberal, or a sap or both.

    Electronic Medical Records, the Holy Grail of hospitals, managed care and government are typically designed as charge capture instruments: NOT as clinical tools. I’ve practiced my specialty for more than 20 years and in two states, so I know from whence I speak. I get EMR-generated progress notes from the University of Elsewhere, and I throw out half of it. From the VA? I throw out 90%.

    This gentleman is at least half right about economic inefficiencies built into our healthcare system, largely due to market distortions put in place by Holy Mother Government. He is NOT, however making an accurate statement about medical information. Want to ‘digitize’ my info? Great! Put it on a flash drive; make my social security number, or some such the password; put it on my keychain. And then, NObody else should have access. Feel free to review my record in the ER after someone runs me down in an intersection. Otherwise, forget it. It’s my information. Not United HealthCare’s, nor Medicare’s, nor ObamaCare’s info.

    Speaking as a physician, in the ObamaCare era, what’s my medical record going to show? Nothing. Surgery? Never. Allergies? N/A. Meds? Nope. Past Medical History? Sorry; no. The Internet is forever: always remember that.
    Find yourself going to the college dispensary at 19 for a shot of antibiotics after a round of drunken debauchery with someone that had ‘just a rash, or something’–and expect to find THAT in your medical record when you’re 50, running for mayor or interviewing for a job. Enjoy that.

  • Michael T Lyster

    Nonsense. I’m a physician, AND a medical device entrepreneur. You’re neither. Medical care and innovation will both suffer.

    Tort reform, BTW HAS been useful. Only PI lawyers and other reptiles find it ineffective.

    Societies get the governments they deserve, and people the society they create. Your Great New Society will lead to worse healthcare, and lowered access. Enjoy that.

  • Michael T Lyster

    As an oncologist, I can say with unimpeachable authority that you’re FOS.
    Patients with no coverage get treated: pharmaceutical companies have Patient Access systems to allow for it, and most of us see and treat these patients for little or no charge. Done it for years. Metro areas have county hospitals, though most of us choose to care for these patients ourselves rather than send them to The County.
    Preventive maintenance care, e.g. screening may, or may NOT reduce costs. Sorry, but your figures are inaccurate. They also require participation by the individual. Some people CHOOSE not to see a physician. Right or wrong,they’ve that choice. Lower income populations often have worse outcomes due to avoidance of healthcare, and frankly historical poor choices (that is, BTW how many of them found themselves poor in the first place: life is like that). What then will you do? FORCE people to see a physician? When the specialist ranks thin (as they will, will you then FORCE me to add patients to my schedule? Go ahead and try.

    You exemplify the facile faith in government solutions characteristic of civil servants, liberals, and fools. Which one are you?

  • Michael T Lyster

    Well said, sir.
    Those who compare our healthcare outcomes with those in Sweden, Denmark or Switzerland fail to notice that those countries are slightly, ever-so-slightly different from a 3 million square mile country of immigrants from every niche of the world. Only an idiot would say ‘Well, look at Norway! THEY have great healthcare!” Yes; all 19 people who live there.

  • Joe_Farnakle

    Sorry, but it is you who is totally full of crap. My mother-in-law is currently a cancer patient, and I regularly take her in for chemotherapy. They are right up front with a statement that if a means of payment cannot be provided right then and there, there is nothing they can do, they cannot provide chemotherapy. In her case we are fortunate to have insurance, but anyone else would be S.O.L. You are evidently talking academia, talking about what’s on paper and what smoke-and-mirrors feel-good stuff that the healthcare industry likes to tout. I am talking what happens in REAL LIFE.

  • Joe_Farnakle

    Texas, Georgia and California have already implemented tort reform, and it has NOT meaningfully brought down healthcare costs. There is already a proven baseline. If that’s what you are banking on, your eggs are in the wrong basket.

  • Joe_Farnakle

    That’s a fallacious argument. People from other countries only come to the US for things like cosmetic surgery, and certain specialty and elective boutique procedures – which typically are inaccessible, unaffordable and/or not covered for the average Joe. Otherwise, their own healthcare systems are what they are more than happy to rely on.

  • Joe_Farnakle

    FACT. I have seen cancer clinics tell patients they will not be able to receive treatment if they cannot provide some proof of payment up front, right then and there. They told a family member that when I brought her for chemotherapy.

  • Michael T Lyster

    Make better choices of physicians.
    I’ve been in private practice since the early 90′s. Never turned down a patient. Never.

  • Family Medical Practice FL

    This is true sentence in sense that we all need good health to be healthy in the society and politics really help a lot to be individuality in the society rather than person itself. ” Health care politics could jeopardize health care business opportunities “, i am sharing this post on my Facebook Page.