Although the healthcare industry likes to complain about costly, meddlesome government regulations, leaders are still looking to Washington to help solve their problems.
For example, according to the findings of an online survey conducted by MODERN HEALTHCARE last month, the federal government should be doing more to reduce the number of the uninsured, provide coverage of prescription drugs and police the behavior of managed-care plans.
At the same time, the respondents said Medicare is due for fundamental restructuring and that the private sector needs to play a bigger role.
The survey was conducted via MODERN HEALTHCARE's World Wide Web site (www.modernhealthcare.com) in partnership with ERC Dataplus, a Norwalk, Conn.-based polling and human resources technology solutions firm. The results are based on 99 completed surveys.
Nearly all--88%--of respondents said more action needs to be taken to reduce the number of uninsured. And the leading recommendations to fix the problem are increased funding at the state and/or national levels and establishment of universal healthcare coverage.
Some 63% of respondents said managed care needs stepped-up oversight, and 79% said HMO enrollees should have the right to sue their health plans.
Meanwhile, 78% of respondents said a Medicare prescription drug plan is necessary, and just more than half of those respondents said the best approach would be a plan covering all Medicare beneficiaries coordinated by the federal government. Twenty-two percent said they favor a subsidy to low-income individuals to buy private drug coverage.
More than three-fourths of respondents also said Congress should pass additional relief from the effects of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
Although 52% of respondents said they see the need to substantially restructure Medicare, more than a third--35%--said the program needs only minor changes.
Full survey results can be found on MODERN HEALTHCARE's Web site. Readers also are invited to take this month's survey, "Managing Human Resources." Completion of the survey will qualify respondents for a chance to win a top-of-the-line Palm VII wireless organizer. See the Web site for complete rules.