Before communities are besieged by fires, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes, the key to survival—and success—is to be prepared. In this edition of Wellspring, we provide suggestions to help you create a plan to ensure the health of your family and the safety of your home. We hope you find the information valuable.
Being equipped to fulfill our mission of compassionate care, advanced medicine, close to home, means we must walk the talk when it comes to preparedness, braced for any disaster Mother Nature might throw at us. Of course, some crises are fueled by economic or political firestorms. We spent the twilight of 2017 planning for challenges that we and other health care systems will face in 2018. They include:
- Continuing into the future, what government pays physicians and hospitals to care for those on Medi-Cal and Medicare will decline;
- The hastily forged tax bill approved by Congress and signed by President Trump will have many intended and unintended consequences for health care, none of them favorable for hospital systems; and
- Some major health insurance plans—notably Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California—have adopted spurious new reimbursement policies for community hospitals that care for their members, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in underpayments for NorthBay Healthcare.
Seeing the convergence of those three situations, we engaged in a type of emergency preparedness we’ve experienced before. But the scale of the coming impact is unprecedented. We are ready to respond in myriad ways:
- A more seamless delivery-of-care model is being created to streamline the process and reduce its costs;
- There will be a focus on services that no one else in our community will provide, from advanced cancer treatments to neurosurgeries to exceptional heart and vascular care; and
- We will seek legal and legislative redress when insurance plans do not want to pay fairly for the care we provide their members.
Those measures will go a long way toward ensuring not just our survival, but the long-term protection of the community’s only locally based, locally managed health care system.
B. Konard Jones
President and Chief Executive Officer