Friday, March 22, 2013

health care system

The total health care cost of our health care system is about $2.6 trillion and represents about 17% of our GDP. There are projections it will reach 19% by 2017. What I learned yesterday was that only $80 billion of that total is for primary care. This is really interesting because primary care I think is really at the core of controlling cost.

A company named Qliance located in Seattle Washington provides primary care to individuals, small businesses and some larger companies. The cost range from $59 to $94 per person. They provide at no cost beyond the monthly charge preventative care, urgent care Specialist & Hospital care,behavior&lifestyle management, chronic disease management and wellness. The clinics they have provide extended office hours and weekend hours and appointments with doctors are 30 minutes to an hour.

While the cost may seem high the savings when you look at the number of reduced Emergency room visits, hospitalization days, specialist visits, advanced radiology and surgeries more than makes up for the additional cost. After factoring in the cost the savings are $1727 per member per year. It is interesting to note that the number of primary care visits to Qliance per 1000 of their members is 4411 and the benchmark per 1000 is 1847. You should also be aware that there is no selectivity in people becoming members. Anyone can join.

I think a convincing argument can be made that if our country is going to reduce the cost of health care we need to increase spending on primary care and increase the number of primary care physicians. What do you think?

I am beginning to hear more talk about individuals and businesses that provide health insurance for employees meeting the minimum coverage requirements required under the Affordable Care Act. Is this a concern to you? Are you concerned about coverages not being adequate or not being able to have deductible above $2000 per individual and $4000 per family.

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116


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