07 January 2007

New Medical Blog

I've added the Sentinel Effect to Ave Cassandra's medical blogs. It's written by Richard Eskow, CEO of Health Knowledge Systems in California. HKS "provides data entry, bill review, care management, and related services to the healthcare and workers’ compensation industries." He's thus embedded with the industry.
I discovered him through Smirking Chimp, a liberal opinion site that doesn't usually offer much in the way of healthcare articles. They're rather big on Bush, Iraq, Red State vs. Blue State, and the religious right.
In Stigmata and Catastrophes: Confessions of a Health Industry 'Insider' he writes, "When it comes to health care, perhaps it's time to give back a little. I feel that way, and so do many others I know in the health and insurance fields."
So he says he's ready to push for reform and universal health coverage.
"In the end, the broken machine that is our healthcare system isn't about numbers, charts, or graphs. It's about death, disability, and disfigurement."
It's a good piece and worth reading. Here is a key insight:
"Despite (or because of) my insurance background I'm troubled by initiatives like the Massachusetts health law, Sen. Ron Wyden's Healthy Americans Act, and Gov. Schwarzenegger's anticipated initiative, each of which requires individuals to purchase health insurance through our current inefficient system.
"Our insurance industry can't rest on laurels it doesn't have, and shouldn't reap the benefits of government policy unless it can prove it will do a better job."
His posts for January 5:
• Medical Information on 25,000 people stolen: "One under-recognized problem with our complex health care system is that information has to be shared by many parties. Here are a few of them: health care providers, insurance companies, bill processing vendors, data analysis/reporting services, utilization management companies, and specialty vendors (e.g. psychiatic care management services)."
• Ely Lilly settles Zypraxa claims
• State-level action round-up (California)
• Wellpoint vs. Kaiser? More news on policy cancellations in CA — a follow-up on a previous post Eskow reported that Kaiser was working with state regulators to develop standards to prevent patients from unfair cancellations of health insurance coverage. "This move puts Kaiser at odds with Wellpoint/Blue Cross of California and other major insurers, who contend that there is no problem and that the complaints they’ve received are politically motivated."
He notes that Wellpoint is Blue Cross' parent company in California, and links to a LA Times article, Doctors Seek To Sue Blue Cross, on their worsening troubles.

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