Yesterday and today, I am attending a meeting outside of DC on the future of health care as a result of the 2012 election. Actually, I was invited to serve on a panel with the intent of informing health care executives in Maryland, DC and Virginia how WMHS has fared under our new payment methodology. I informed the group that the Triple Aim of Health Care Reform can be accomplished but it has its challenges.
During the meeting, I learned from an exchange between the moderator for the panel discussion and former Senator Blanche Lincoln (D -AR), that hospitals and health systems in the US are responsible for complying with 120,000 federal regulations. I knew it was bad, but had no idea as to how bad. Now please understand, that doesn't include any state regulations, HSCRC regs for Maryland hospitals or the Joint Commission requirements. Hospitals are routinely criticized for their complexity and bureaucracy; here's the reason why. No wonder, management guru Peter Drucker says that health care is the US's most complex and challenging industry to manage.
By the way, former Senator Lincoln was great. She was charming and engaging and I wouldn't hesitate to vote for her. She lost her Senate seat after 12 years because she was a moderate Democrat who did not embrace the labor union platform. The entire theme of her presentation was that this time our President needs to lead our country through these current fiscal challenges and that Congress needs to reach across the aisle to reach a compromise to avoid that fiscal cliff. Her prediction is that both will happen.