October 31, 2014

Future of Healthcare

Healthcare Innovations: Ahead of the Curve

| 5/1/2010

Out of the Courtroom

Linda Quick
Linda Quick.
In 2004, 81% of Florida voters passed Amendment 7, a patient “Right to Know” amendment, allowing them access to any adverse hospital incident reports. That gift to plaintiffs’ attorneys had a “chilling effect” on the peer review process by which doctors and hospitals try to prevent future mistakes by reviewing their procedures, says Linda Quick, president of the South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association.

A year later, Congress passed legislation that trumps Amendment 7 by allowing the creation of patient safety organizations (PSOs), whose records of incidents and subsequent reviews would be kept from disclosure in court cases. PSOFlorida launched in January, a collaboration of the Florida Hospital Association and the south Florida group, and has 32 hospitals onboard with 50 more interested, says Bruce Rueben, president of the Florida Hospital Association.

— Mike Vogel

Aetna

Treatment

Hiroshi Komine, Moffitt researcher
Researcher Hiroshi Komine examines a B16 melanoma cell line at Moffitt.
[Photo: Nicholas Gould/Moffitt]

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and Scripps are using genes to create “designer” lymph nodes that may help rebuild the body’s immune system and restore its ability to fight both cancer and other diseases. They have a nearly $2-million grant from the National Cancer Institute. A clinical trial involving melanoma is under way. “We anticipate we will be able to create fully functioning, designer lymph nodes at will in the human body,” says James Mulé, executive vice president of Applied Research at Moffitt.

— Amy Keller

Healtchcare Rationing?

Mike Fernandez
Entrepreneur Mike Fernandez recommends reinsurance for the 5% of people he says are responsible for 90% of claims. [Photo: Eileen Escarda]

Healthcare entrepreneur Mike Fernandez has made a couple of fortunes owning companies in managed care, retail pharmacies and the like. Last year, after a non-compete agreement from selling his last managed-care company expired, he gathered $100 million to start SimplyHealthcare, a Medicaid-focused managed-care company. “There’s more money flowing into it now then when I got out of it,” Fernandez says. Fernandez believes the state could cut Medicaid fraud in Florida by hiring a company — he happens to be shopping for one — to verify that treatments are medically necessary. For the nation, he recommends some type of reinsurance for the 5% of people responsible for 90% of claims. He says future rationing of healthcare seems likely. The population, he says, now sees the most expensive healthcare as a right divorced from cost — he likens it to wanting to dine at the most expensive restaurant at fast-food prices. Meanwhile, costs soar to the neglect of infrastructure and other investments the country should be making. “The percentage of GDP that is spent on healthcare is an obscene amount, and nobody wants to be the first one to take a reduction”

— Mike Vogel

Tags: Healthcare

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