Regarding the Jan. 23 Guest Commentary “Remove barriers to sharing health data and create a continuously learning healthcare system” (p. 26), I agree that each patient should be able to receive the healthcare that meets his or her particular goals. However, one of my health goals is not to have my personal information shared with the entire healthcare industry. I'm sure many of my patients feel the same way. I want the revolution in healthcare to move away from the interconnected world of Big Brother government and corporate overlords to small, local interactions among physicians and patients.
Letters: Revolution in healthcare? It should be local interactions between docs, patients
Dr. J. Timothy AmesPortage, Ind.
Regarding the article
“Safety net hospital performance varies widely, analysis shows” (ModernHealthcare.com, Jan. 19), this study demonstrates that there is variability among safety net hospitals, with room for improvement among the group. This is no surprise and presents helpful data to support the search for opportunities to improve, be efficient and learn from one another. But the study doesn't address the fact that these hospitals are still at a disadvantage when caring for their population base.
Dr. Donald JansenPittsburgh
Regarding the article Trump signs executive order as first strike at ending Affordable Care Ac (ModernHealthcare.com, Jan. 20), we need to give the Trump administration a chance, since the Affordable Care Act is not affordable for the patient or the country.
We need to expand Medicaid, allow interstate sale of insurance and make it easier for new insurance companies to get started. Insurance companies are making money hand over fist, yet people blame hospitals for the higher costs. Insurance companies won't pay hospitals a fair amount, deny half of claims, and pay top executives excessive amounts. Much of this can be fixed through greater use of health savings accounts, which you can carry over for years and let the patient go out and find the best prices. We have to get creative.
Bill StephensBrentwood, Tenn.
Regarding the article Trump signs executive order as first strike at ending Affordable Care Ac (ModernHealthcare.com, Jan. 20), in response to the often-heard suggestion that health savings accounts are a viable option to health insurance, HSAs wouldn't be a workable option for people living under the poverty level. Additionally, patients who are acutely ill are not in a position to shop around for the best price, even if they could determine the final price when they accept a service.
Insurers negotiate prices with hospitals, but people paying for their own care (which is what those paying from HSAs would be doing) are often billed at much higher rates than the negotiated ones, which increases the risk for those relying on these accounts for protection from financial disaster. Although many providers have started to offer discounts for cash payments by patients, the majority of patients whose insurance premiums were subsidized by the ACA would have difficulty paying their rent or buying groceries if they paid enough into an HSA to cover even the discounted cost of a hospital or emergency department visit.
Jean O'MalleyPortland, Ore.
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