2009 Industry Outlook
In Need of an Rx: With costs continuing to rise and an increasing number of uninsured patients, Florida's hospitals are bracing for a tough year.
|A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 47% of Americans report someone in their family is skipping medication or postponing or cutting back on medical care because of the costs.|
|April 2008||Oct. 2008|
|Putting off or postponing getting needed healthcare|| 29%
|Skipped a recommended medical test or treatment||24%||31%|
|Didn’t fill a prescription||23%||27%|
|Cut pills or skipped
doses of medication
|Had problems getting mental healthcare||8%||12%|
|Did any of the above||42%||47%|
|Source: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll (Oct. 8-13, 2008)|
As for a federal solution, Duncan isn’t holding his breath. “It’s clear the president-elect is worried about health insurance. His approach is to buttress the employer-based system. What will happen in the short term given the economic situation and short-term priorities is anybody’s guess.”
As more Floridians fall off the employer-based insurance rolls, BlueCross and BlueShield of Florida is providing more avenues to scout for health coverage. While the company still sells the vast majority of its policies through agents, 13% of new policyholders sign up over the internet. In addition, a growing number of customers are picking out plans at two “Florida Blue” retail stores — in St. John’s Town Center in Jacksonville and Pembroke Lakes Square Shopping Center in Pembroke Pines. Craig Thomas, BCBSF’s marketing vice president, says the consumer satisfaction level for customers who visit Florida Blue’s retail outlets is about 90% to 95% — “which is very impressive — probably unheard of from a customer experience standpoint” — and the company plans to open more locations this year.
Nemours, one the nation’s largest pediatric health systems, will break ground next month on its children’s hospital in Orlando. While the hospital won’t open until the third quarter of 2012, it’s already having an impact on the region. An economic impact study by the Milken Institute predicts that Nemours Children’s Hospital will create 5,082 jobs during construction and add $50 million to Orlando’s regional wage income in the first year and $81 million after five years.