Health Reform in California Inevitable, Health Leaders Say
California willÂ move forward withÂ health care reform regardless of whether the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the federal health reform law, according toÂ leaders of the state's hospitals, medical groups and insurers, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The experts spoke at a panel discussion hosted by the Sacramento Business Journal (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 3/2).
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will examine the constitutionality of the federal health reform law.
The court will consider:
- The constitutionality of the individual mandate;
- The issue of severability and whether the Medicaid expansion is constitutional; and
- IfÂ a tax law -- known as the Anti-Injunction Act -- prevents the court from ruling on the constitutionality of the law before 2014, when specific reform provisions will be implemented (California Healthline, 12/20/11).
Reform in California
Michael Taylor -- senior vice president of operations for Dignity Health's Greater Sacramento-San Joaquin area -- said, "We believe we need to drive health care reform whether it's legislated or not." He added, "Health care costs are out of control and we need to bend the curve."
The panelists said that increases in health costs and expectedÂ reimbursement cutsÂ are driving the need to overhaul the current system.
According to the panelists, all parts of California's health system will have to coordinate efforts in order to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Darryl Cardoza -- COO of Hill Physicians Medical Group -- said, "It's difficult to make decisions on resources with a hospital silo, a physician silo and an insurance silo." He also noted that health leaders must address population management broadly, rather than concentrating on one patient at a time.
According to the panelists, health reform in California also will require:
- Addressing the shortage of primary care physicians;
- Concentrating on preventive care instead of focusing on treatment after health issues arise; and
- Moving to a new insurance model where individuals dictate plan purchases instead of employers (Sacramento Business Journal, 3/2).