Thursday afternoon VGM Group hosted a healthcare forum with Chairman Tom Price M.D. (R-Ga.) and Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) to discuss many environments of the healthcare. Area executives, doctors, and advocates representing a wide variety of healthcare gathered and talked about the challenges that their businesses face. From hospitals, physicians, emergency rooms, and DMEs one theme was clear: mountains of regulations and administrative costs are diminishing the quality of care of the patients.
Dr. Price told a story which would be a motivation for him to run for office during his career practicing medicine which seemed to touch a nerve with all in attendance. As he was walking through an office many years ago he realized there were far more people in the back of the office trying to make sure every rule is followed and tracking down dollars that they were owed, more than the people directly caring for the patient. It caused him to say, “There has got to be a better way of doing healthcare.”
As the group talked about accessibility, Dr. Price pointed out how Medicare reimbursement cuts are having a significant impact on quality of care as local providers are doing everything possible to stay in business. This lead to another key theme that came from the discussion which was, “Healthcare is all local.” Those who are serving their local communities understand best how important keeping health care local is to provide the best care for the people within that community. Dr. Price and Rep. Blum echoed this importance as they advocate for the decision making process being made at the state level rather than a national blanket being placed over the entire country. Local providers know what is best to give their patients the highest quality of care, and having leaders in leadership positions within Congress that understand this point should be reassuring as they work towards solving these problems.