Mar 26

ObamaCare: One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward

By Wayne W. Oliver, Executive Director, Patients for Fair Compensation           Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on February 5, 2014

flaD AND STETHISCOPEI have been rather vocal in my opposition to the Affordable Care Act (or ObamaCare).  There have been too many problems, too many issues and too many unintended consequences.

According to a report released this week by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), ObamaCare will “reduce the supply of labor by the equivalent of roughly 2.3 million full-time workers through 2021.”

Just as the economy is attempting to recover, we are moving forward with the implementation of a federal healthcare disaster that will kill even more jobs. There is some good news.  There is a new, legitimate “repeal and replace” movement led by US Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dr. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma).  This “repeal and replace” effort has substance and includes many thoughtful, private sector based reforms and includes some of the provisions of ObamaCare that address access to health coverage.

The new Patient CARE (Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment) Act repeals ObamaCare and replaces it with common-sense, patient-centered reforms that reduce healthcare costs and increase access to affordable, high-quality care.  In stark contrast to ObamaCare and its government centered mandates and regulations, the Patient CARE Act empowers the American people to make the best health care choices for themselves and their families. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 26

Georgia’s Health Information Technology Industry: Making A Difference Everyday

by Wayne W. Oliver, Executive Director, Patients for Fair Compensation        Originally published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on March 2014

health-info-techA couple of weeks ago, a group of health information technology leaders from around the state came to Atlanta to celebrate “Georgia Health Information Technology and High Tech Day at the Capitol.” Georgia State Senator Brandon Beach, Chairman of the Science & Technology Committee, welcomed over 100 Georgians to the State Capitol and talked about Georgia’s status as the nation’s “Health Information Technology Capitol.”

Georgia-based health information technology companies are a serious economic engine. The health IT industry generates more than $4 billion in revenue each year and provides over 15,000 jobs in Georgia. There are more than 186 health IT companies which call Georgia “home.”

And, the health IT industry in Georgia is growing. Georgia’s health IT businesses are growing at a phenomenal 40 percent rate, creating more jobs, more investment and more revenue for Georgia. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 03

New Years’ Resolutions

databy Wayne W. Oliver, Executive Director, Patients for Fair Compensation     Originally published in teh Atlanta Journal Constitution on January 2, 2014

Each year, millions of us make so-called “New Years’ Resolutions” or a list of things that we would like to accomplish in 2014. While most of us include things like “eat less and exercise more” on our list of resolutions, this year, my New Years’ Resolutions include:

Advancing Intellectual Honesty:  I work regularly in the public arena. I write and speak a great deal about the need for legitimate healthcare reform including transforming our medical malpractice litigation system. In advancing a proposal to eliminate all medical malpractice lawsuits and replace it with an administrative solution similar to workers’ compensation, there has been wholesale fabrication and outright deception involved by some of those opposed to the issue. In discussing public policy options, there needs to be transparency and those engaged in the debate should have facts versus conjecture.

Gallup, the polling people, asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of members of various professions. In the 2013 poll which was taking in December, Americans view nurses, pharmacists, grade school teachers and physicians as having the highest ethical standards. Lobbyists, members of Congress, and car salespeople sit at the bottom of the list. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 12

We Can Provide Better Healthcare at Lower Costs

by Wayne Oliver, Executive Director, Patients for Fair Compensation
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on September 12, 2013

heartbeat-150x150As the healthcare world braces for the cost and regulatory implications of ObamaCare, there are other changes approaching on the horizon. An information technology boom is underway that could impact us all.

Healthcare is playing catch up with respect to incorporating technology into the workflow patterns of healthcare workers including physicians and nurses. Transportation, corporate America, small family businesses and even state and local governments have adopted technology solutions.

The airline industry became more efficient by using on-line reservations, on-line check-in and kiosks at airports for boarding passes. McDonald’s and most other fast food restaurants have used technology to more effectively manage workers and the workflow process resulting in better service for their customers. The banking industry embraced technology in a big way as more Americans are using on-line banking services, ATMs and mobile solutions which in turn make banks more efficient and gives customers options in how access banking services. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 28

Defensive Medicine: A Cure Worse Than The Disease

by Hal Scherz, MD & Wayne Oliver     Originally published in Forbes on August 27, 2013

metricsA middle age man enters the emergency room with chest pains. The attending physician diagnoses him with indigestion. The physician wants the man to change his diet, take medication and go home.

But due to a worried look on the faces of the patient and his wife, the doctor has second thoughts. Despite his conviction that the diagnosis is correct, the physician orders a battery of tests to rule out a heart attack, and everything is normal. This is called defensive medicine. These tests cost tens of thousands of dollars and though not medically necessary, were obtained to protect the doctor from a potential lawsuit in the event that he missed something.

Defensive medicine is commonplace in medical practice. According to a recent national physicians’ survey by Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 28

More Unintended Consequences of Federal Health Reform

by Wayne W. Oliver
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on August 8, 2013

health-reform2The implementation of the Affordable Care Act also known as ObamaCare has caused some interesting responses and reactions within the medical community. Most of those reactions are the direct opposite of the stated goals of ObamaCare.

Let’s look at the goals of ObamaCare and how the healthcare system and healthcare professionals are responding to the increased role of the federal government in healthcare.

First, ObamaCare promised improved access to care for the nearly 50 million uninsured Americans. However, the reality is that more physicians are either leaving private practice, retiring early or getting out of medicine entirely. A national survey conducted this summer by the nation’s third largest healthcare staffing company, Jackson Healthcare, indicates that fewer doctors are in private practice — 52 percent in 2013 vs. 56 percent in 2012. The survey also found a Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 28

Elevating Patient Safety

by Wayne W. Oliver     Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on July 10, 2013

patient-safety-150x150Since publication of the Institute of Health (IOM) report entitled “To Err is Human,” our healthcare system generally, and hospitals specifically, have tried to create, develop and nurture a culture of patient safety. The IOM reported almost 100,000 Americans lose their life each year due to preventable medical errors. In fact, according to the IOM, “More people die in a given year as a result of medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents (43,458), breast cancer (42,297), or AIDS (16,516).”

Something must be done to reduce or eliminate medical errors that could have been prevented. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 28

Defensive Medicine: More Than Just Another Extra X-Ray

by Wayne W. Oliver     Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on June 5, 2013.

med-mal3Defensive medicine occurs when physicians order tests, procedures or consultations of doubtful clinical value in order to protect themselves from costly and frivolous malpractice suits.  Doctors detest the very thought of being sued so they find every means possible to avoid litigation.

And that includes ordering numerous unnecessary and expensive tests and procedures.

While not all Georgia physicians practice defensive medicine, the overwhelming majority do. According to a recent survey conducted by Oppenheim Research, 82 percent of Georgia doctors say they perform unnecessary tests, procedures and referral consultations exclusively to avoid a medical malpractice claim. Read the rest of this entry »

May 11

Achieving Personalized Healthcare from Big Data Analytics

by Wayne W. Oliver,  Executive Director, Patients for Fair Compensation
Originally published in Atlanta Journal Constitution, May 10, 2013

big dataFor years now, we have held on to the hope that health information technology (health IT) solutions would translate into better health outcomes. We have indeed seen signs that physicians and hospitals which deploy health IT solutions like electronic health records (EHRs) provide better care.

We have also hoped that the day of an interoperable platform would allow healthcare professionals and facilities to access individual patient’s health information. Some progress has been made in a couple of states in terms of creating a legitimate health information exchange (HIE). However, the process of building, implementing and sustaining an HIE needs accelerating in most states including Georgia. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 26

Kicking the Malpractice Tort Out of Court

End “defensive medicine” by going to a system like workers’ compensation.

By Wayne W. Oliver
A version of this article appeared March 20, 2013, on page A13 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Kicking the Malpractice Tort Out of Court.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323869604578366770324716616.html

WSJMarch 23 marks the third anniversary of the passage of the most controversial legislation in a generation, the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare. As the federal law moves toward a more thorough implementation next year, states are grappling with the costs and obligations imposed on them, such as the need to establish health-insurance “exchanges” where low-income workers can obtain coverage.

Some states are also searching for ways, outside the scope of ObamaCare, to improve health care and lower costs. A promising idea that is gaining traction is to completely overhaul medical malpractice by kicking it out of courtrooms. Two states leading the way are Georgia and Florida, where lawmakers are considering repealing their medical tort system and replacing it with a medical-compensation board similar to those used for workers’ compensation. Bills for the Patients’ Compensation System have been introduced in both states. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 15

Transforming Healthcare One Medicare Patient at a Time

medicareby Wayne Oliver – Healthcare Consultant
Originally published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on January 4, 2013

As we ring in the New Year, many features of the Accountable Care Act (ObamaCare) will begin to take shape. State Benefit (Insurance) Exchanges will begin to unfold. The Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Center within HHS will continue to examine and support promising models of care delivery. Cost containment programs like Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) will begin to reshape the way Medicare pays for healthcare services.

So what are Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)?

ACOs are organizations created by either groups of doctors or hospitals that improve quality measures in five key areas that impact affect patient care:
• Patient (caregiver) experience and satisfaction;
• Care coordination;
• Patient safety;
• Preventive health; and
• At-risk population health management. Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 05

Breaking Down Healthcare Silos: The Need of Healthcare Integration

The American healthcare system … isn’t.   It isn’t a “system.”

Patients have multiple providers. These providers rarely interact. The payment system operates in silos. And patient care isn’t coordinated.

This disjointed system is not a new challenge. In 1965, the federal government created Medicare, a program which provides coverage for certain services. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital services. Medicare Part B covers outpatient care like physicians’ services.

Forty years later, in 2006, the government launched Medicare Part D, which covers prescription medications. But the original Medicare program created payment and data silos for Parts A and B.  Today, Medicare Part D is administered by private pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). And the three parts (Medicare A, B and D) rarely talk to each other or share information. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 16

RxAlly Appoints Wayne Oliver as Vice President for Pharmacy Advocacy and Government Relations

Originally published in DC.CityBiz.
http://dc.citybizlist.com/article/rxally-appoints-wayne-oliver-vice-president-pharmacy-advocacy-and-government-relations

RxAlly, a first-of-its-kind alliance of more than 22,000 pharmacies nationwide, announced the addition of Wayne Oliver to the company’s leadership team.  Mr. Oliver will serve as Vice President for Pharmacy Advocacy and Government Relations.  In this role, Mr. Oliver will serve as liaison between RxAlly and its network pharmacies and federal, state and local governments. A recognized thought leader in the health care sector, Mr. Oliver has made hundreds of speeches and presentations on topics of health care and pharmacy, with a special focus on transformational solutions to a range of health care issues.  Mr. Oliver counts Governors, Members of Congress, State Legislators, and national leaders among those who have sought his consultation on health care policy.

Mr. Oliver’s background includes his role as Vice President at the Center for Health Transformation, founded by former Speaker of the House, Newt Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 10

We Need More Mentors in America Today

by Wayne Oliver – Vice President at RxAlly
Originally posted in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on November 8, 2012
http://blogs.ajc.com/health-flock/2012/11/08/we-need-more-mentors-in-america-today/

Giving back.  Paying it forward. We’ve all heard these expressions when talking about those who have experienced random acts of kindness like paying for the next driver’s toll or buying a stranger a cup of coffee. They are always appreciated and always bring an immediate smile to the face of the benefactor.

But, when someone has had such a profound influence over the way you critically think, over the way you process information and over the way you respond to life’s daily opportunities, that person is a mentor. We need more mentors in America today. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 05

Did You Brush Your Teeth?

by Wayne Oliver – Vice President at RxAlly
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on October 5, 2012
http://blogs.ajc.com/health-flock/2012/10/05/did-you-brush-your-teeth/

As a child, I can’t tell you how many times I heard that question. As a parent, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked that question.

Over the years, dentists have done a fantastic job of raising awareness of the importance of preventative dental care. They give us tooth brushes and dental floss after each and every visit. They schedule appointments with us every six months to check our teeth and reinforce the importance of preventative dental care. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 05

Creating a Culture of Health

by Wayne Oliver – Vice President at RxAlly. Orginally posted in Atlanta Journal Constitution at 12:20 pm September 5, 2012,

Regardless of what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future to the Affordable Care Act, also known as “ObamaCare,” there has been a general recognition that we need to create a new culture of health by and among the American people. From embracing a patient-centered model of care to management of chronic diseases, the health care system is changing to embrace a culture of health at the very center of our health care transformation.

Over the years, the health care system realized that a comprehensive team approach to patient care produced improved patient outcomes.  As that integrated team model gained notoriety, a more diverse panel of health care professionals began to interact directly with patients and their caregivers. While physicians have and will continue to be an integral part of the health care team, doctors have been joined by pharmacists, advanced practice nurses, physicians assistants, dentists, optometrists, dieticians and other health care professionals in provide direct patient care services. These skilled professionals are also helping patients better understand their role in their own health care. And, they are also helping to create a culture of health when they interact with their patients. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 01

Building a Patient-Centered Model of Care

by Wayne Oliver, Vice President of Pharmacy Advocacy & Governmental Relations at RxAlly
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on August 1, 2012

Over the past several years, the health care system has been attempting to define and create a “patient-centered model of care.”  Most health policy experts, much less health care professionals, can’t seem to agree on what constitutes a patient-centered model of care. I think that a patient-centered model is less about discussing the comprehensive services offered to patients and is more about putting the patient in the middle of the relationship. A true patient-centered model surrounds the patient and provides a true coordinated personalized system of care.

In examining U.S. health care delivery, rarely are the words “coordinated,” “personalized” and “system” used in the same sentence ― much less actually delivered to patients. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 05

ObamaCare: Ready for the Next Stage

by Wayne W. Oliver – Healthcare Consultant
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on July 4, 2012

The fate of ObamaCare now moves from the legal and constitutional stage back to the political arena.  As most Americans know by now, Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the more liberal members of the Supreme Court of the United States to create a 5-4 decision upholding ObamaCare as constitutional based on the ability of Congress to levy taxes. The high court has finally ruled on ObamaCare. So, what does this all mean?

Well, it might not be the decision most conservatives would have liked, but at least it is settled … for right now. Many health policy experts and political pundits are saying that the Chief Justice had a mental lapse or that he was pressured by the liberal media into upholding ObamaCare. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 06

Health Reform Regardless of Supreme Court’s Decision

by Wayne Oliver – Healthcare Consultant
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on June 6, 2012

Legal experts and political pundits are filling the airwaves and newsprint with their thoughts on what will happen to federal health reform (ObamaCare) when the US Supreme Court rules later this month (NFIB v Sebelius). What will happen to the individual mandate? Will they strike down the entire law? What about insurance coverage for my 24-year old college student?

All that speculation aside, there are common sense reforms that are being implemented today — in the private sector — without 2,700+ pages of Congressional mandates.

Let’s pick three areas where we can make a difference NOW: 1) Accelerate a Patient-Centered Model of Care; 2) Support the migration to Health Information Technology (Health IT) by Physicians and Hospitals; and 3) Demand Disclosure and Transparency of Healthcare Quality and Price Measures. Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

Toward A Healthier Economy

by Newt Gingrich and Wayne Oliver
Originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on April 07, 2009

Civil-justice reform, also known as tort reform, has often been viewed as a battle between the health-care community (physicians and hospitals) and personal-injury lawyers. However, there is another side to tort reform that personal-injury lawyers don’t want to talk about: It can jump-start the economy and create new jobs.

States that have enacted tort-reform measures have significantly improved access to health care, reduced costs, and strengthened economies. Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

Creating 21st Century Solutions in Healthcare

by Wayne W. Oliver, Vice President, Center for Health Transformation
Originally published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on November 4, 2011

At the Center for Health Transformation, we are working hard to create a 21st Century Intelligent Health System that can save lives and saves money for all Americans. However, it seems like every time we make a little progress, we must overcome a new challenge.

Take electronic prescribing and electronic medical records (EHRs). Both rely on cutting-edge technology to provide better healthcare for patients.

We know that e-prescribing and EHR systems are safer and more cost effective than paper prescriptions and paper health records. The state and federal governments are even creating incentives for doctors and hospitals to move away from traditional paper. Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

Can Public Option for Health Insurance Fix Healthcare? No.


by Wayne W. Oliver, Vice President, Center for Health Transformation
Originally published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on April 23, 2009

All Americans want health care coverage. All Americans like choice. Americans who like their current health insurance coverage should be able to keep it.

Those without coverage should have the freedom to choose the most appropriate plan that fits their specific needs and that of their family. But, everyone should have access to affordable health coverage. Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

Civil Justice Reform Still Has a Place

by Newt Gingrich and Wayne Oliver
Originally published in Politico.com on October 21, 2009     Also published in The Detroit News

As congressional leaders meet behind closed doors to merge a compromise by the Senate, House and White House on a health care reform plan before the holidays, some might believe the task seems monumental.

Add the concept of civil justice reform to the mix, and the job may appear impossible because of political forces on each side.

But if the president and Congress are honest about what they have been saying all year — that health care reform is about health care expenses, costs that affect each of us — then it is still not too late to insert civil justice reform into the health care proposal. Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

First things first: Fix the FDA

by Newt Gingrich, Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD and Wayne Oliver
Originally published by The Hill on February 11, 2011

President Obama in his State of the Union speech said he wants to stimulate the economy by spending billions of dollars for research and development and create a new federal agency called the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health.

At the Center for Health Transformation, we are passionate supporters of biomedical research and join others in applauding that well-intentioned idea. Unfortunately, it is probably doomed to fail. Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

Pharmacists: An Answer to the Health Access Problem … and More

by Wayne Oliver, Vice President, Center for Health Transformation
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on May 2, 2012

Improved access to healthcare was one of the main selling points of federal health reform. ObamaCare places a great deal of importance on expanding coverage with a special focus on advancing health wellness, preventative services and primary care.

However, there is an underutilized healthcare resource which is available to everyone … now. Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

Playing the Odds: Financing Medical Malpractice Claims

by Wayne Oliver – vice president, Center for Health Transformation
Originally published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on July 6, 2011

Investors are always looking to earn an easy profit, particularly from well-managed companies. But when the profit is from a hedge fund that finances medical malpractice lawsuits aimed at driving doctors out of the profession, Wall Street may have gone too far.

An entirely new industry has cropped in recent years as trial lawyers set their sights on making money off physicians, corporations and other targets – particularly financing malpractice suits through hedge funds. In 2010, hedge funds invested $1 billion in these types of suits and much of it was for medical malpractice cases. Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

States’ Results Prove the Benefits of Malpractice Reform

by Newt Gingrich and Wayne Oliver
Originally published in the Kansas City Star on September 23, 2009

President Barack Obama has offered a fig leaf to doctors by pledging to consider civil justice reform. He directed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to look at creating “demonstration projects in individual states to test” civil justice reform ideas.

To those who have followed this issue, the proposal must have sounded like a plan to reinvent the wheel. Several states already have acted as demonstration projects for civil justice reform for years, and the results are in: Civil justice reform measures have improved access to care, reduced costs and strengthened those states’ economies. For example, California passed the landmark Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act more than 30 years ago. Under it, the state ensures that injured patients receive fair compensation while preserving their access to health care by keeping doctors, nurses and health care providers in practice and hospitals and clinics open. Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

With Health Care, Taxpayers Deserve To Know What They’re Paying For

by Newt Gingrich and Wayne Oliver
Originally published in Forbes.com on April 19, 2011

From coffee shops to bingo halls and wherever seniors gather throughout America, the talk these days is about modern science and how those who have been in pain for years now have routine knee or hip replacements.

Medical devices too such as pacemakers or stents are extending the lives and improving the quality of life for older Americans. As the first of 78 million baby boomers begin to retire this year, they will enroll in Medicare and many will have these procedures.

The problem is the federal government is paying top dollar for anything from a titanium shoulder to a spinal implant. Medical device manufacturers require hospitals to sign confidentiality agreements that make it impossible for hospitals to disclose or document the cost of devices. This makes true price competition in the $153 billion medical device marketplace impossible. Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

The Importance of Patient Adherence to Medication Therapy

by Wayne Oliver – vice president, Center for Health Transformation
Originally published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on August 3, 2011

As former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop said, “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.” Prescription medications are only effective when they are taken.

In many pharmacy circles, the term medication “adherence” and medication “compliance” are used virtually interchangeably.  However, in more recent years, the pharmacy profession and pharmaceutical industry have gravitated more toward medication adherence as the term of choice.  Adherence to a medication regimen is usually defined as the extent to which patients take medications as prescribed by their healthcare providers. Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

Physicians Say the AMA No Longer Their Voice

by Wayne Oliver, Vice President, Center for Health Transformation
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on September 8, 2011

They say, “Perception is reality.”  If that is the case, the American Medical Association (AMA) is in serious trouble.

In a recent survey of physicians conducted by the Atlanta-based physician recruitment firm Jackson & Coker, doctors believe that the AMA no longer represents their views. A whopping 77 percent of physicians reject that premise that the AMA currently reflects their profession. Only 11 percent said the nation’s oldest doctors’ organization today stands for Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

Wasteful Diagnostics Making Healthcare Unaffordable

by Newt Gingrich and Wayne Oliver
Originally published by Human Events on February 23, 2010

CT scans. Blood tests. Ultrasounds. Cesarean sections. In many instances, these examples of diagnostic tools and procedures are vital to treat a patient.

However, physicians say that too often these tests and procedures are ordered unnecessarily and drive up the cost of medicine for patients, taxpayers and insurance carriers. The result, according to a new poll of the nation’s physicians released by Gallup and Jackson Healthcare this week, is that an astounding one in four dollars now spent on health care in this country is on unnecessary medical care.

The reason is simple. Doctors order these tests, treatments and procedures to protect from being sued. It is a safety valve that helps protect them from Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

Which is More Important, Your Doctor or a Personal Injury Lawyer?

By Newt Gingrich and Wayne Oliver
Originally published in the Chicago Tribune on December 7, 2008  

Efforts to bring sanity to the civil justice system in Illinois are under serious attack. In 2005, the Illinois legislature enacted a progressive law aimed at creating a balance in medical malpractice claims. The law created a cap ($500,000 against a physician and $1 million against a hospital) on pain and suffering or non-economic damages.

But recently a Cook County judge ruled that the cap was unconstitutional (LeBron vs. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital). This is not a new phenomenon. Personal injury lawyers nationwide have begun to ask the courts to systematically impose their own narrow interpretation of tort-reform efforts and to overturn caps on awards.

Personal injury lawyers have taken an aggressive position to attack civil justice reforms on a state-by-state basis. In Texas, New Mexico, Georgia and Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

Verdict Already in on Medical Liability Reform

by Newt Gingrich and Wayne Oliver
Originally published in The Wichita Eagle on September 19, 2009

In President Obama’s health care speech to Congress last week, he offered a fig leaf to doctors by pledging to consider civil justice reform. He directed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to look at creating “demonstration projects in individual states to test” civil justice reform ideas.

To those who have followed efforts for civil justice reform, this proposal must have sounded like a plan to reinvent the wheel. The fact is that several states have acted as “demonstration projections” or “incubators” for civil justice reform for years, and the results are in: Civil justice reform measures have significantly improved access to care, reduced costs and strengthened their economies. For example: Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

Metrics: Creating a New Model in Healthcare

by Wayne W. Oliver, Vice President, Center for Health Transformation
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on March 7, 2012

Whether it is a patient centered medical home (PCMH) or an accountable care organization (ACO), we have all seen or read accounts on how we should change health and healthcare in the United States. And, quite frankly, we must change the dynamics in the healthcare sector to improve patient outcomes, decrease medical errors and lower healthcare costs.

But how do we go about improving the quality of care provided and patient satisfaction? First, it takes measureable data.  Once the information is secured, it requires data analytics to set performance goals or metrics. After all, we have to have a way to measure the metrics that drive how and where we can improve medical care and patient satisfaction.

Many of us read the book or saw the critically acclaimed movie “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt as the Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane.  What Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

NFIB vs Sebelius: The Supreme Court and ObamaCare

by Wayne W. Oliver, Vice President, Center for Health Transormation
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on April 5, 2012

Last month, ObamaCare had its day (or days) in court. The case … NFIB, et.al. vs. Kathleen Sebelius, et.al. will be the most celebrated Supreme Court cases in modern history.

The Supreme Court heard six hours of oral arguments over three days. That is unprecedented.

There are 26 states that are suing the federal government. That is unprecedented.

The Supreme Court’s decision will impact over twenty percent of the US economy. That is unprecedented. Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

Let’s Get Serious About Healthcare Costs

by Wayne W. Oliver, Vice President, Center for Health Transformation
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on February 3, 2012

We are all concerned about the ever escalating healthcare costs. Employers struggle whether to offer health insurance benefits because premiums continue to rise at an alarming rate.

Employees and patients who do have insurance must endure higher, premiums, higher co-pays and coinsurance.  With healthcare costs are out of control, we must consider something totally transformational.

One primary driver of rising healthcare costs is due to the way physicians practice medicine these days. Physicians order unnecessary tests, procedures and prescription drugs simply to protect themselves from being sued.  This practice is known as “defensive medicine.” Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

ObamaCare: More Unintended Consequences

by Wayne W. Oliver, Vice President, Center for Health Transformation
Originally published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on October 5, 2011

Since its passage, President Obama’s federal health reform has resulted in a series of unintended consequences. Just last week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a study which indicates that ObamaCare has caused annual family health insurance premiums to increase at a rate three times higher than in 2010.

Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

Improve Patient Care by Creating a 21st Century FDA

by Wayne W. Oliver, Vice President, Center for Health Transformation
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on December 7, 2011

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulates virtually everything that Americans consume or put on their bodies. Those FDA-regulated products account for about 25 cents of every dollar spent by American consumers each year — products that touch our lives every day.

But there is a problem. The FDA is trying to do its job with 20th Century tools, technology, culture, and regulatory approach. Innovation is driving 21st Century medical breakthroughs but the FDA does not have the capacity or the capability to help bring these breakthroughs to the American people. Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

Happy New Year and Hold On Tightly

by Wayne Oliver, Vice President, Center for Health Transformation
Orginally published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on January 7, 2012

Happy New Year! As we welcome in 2012, it is a year which will likely be full of change.

Later this year, we should have a historic decision about the two questions facing the Supreme Court of the United States regarding ObamaCare:  1) Can Congress require individuals to purchase of health insurance? And 2) Can the federal government force states to expand their Medicaid program?

If the Court upholds the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its provisions, it will trigger a whole series of events and policies which must be implemented pursuant to the 2,700+ page legislation.  One of those state triggers Read the rest of this entry »

May 15

The Real Cost of Healthcare

by Wayne Oliver – Vice President, Center for Health Transformation
Originally published by AJC on May 18, 2011

We’ve all seen news reports of escalating healthcare costs and likely felt the implications of those spiraling expenses. Employers are shifting more costs to employees.  Many smaller companies are scaling back health coverage or dropping benefits entirely.

But there is a hidden cost of healthcare that no one wants to talk about and it’s one you’re going to start hearing more about: defensive medicine.

In healthcare, there can be “side effects” of medical procedures or prescription drugs. And, there is a rather significant “side effect” from the failure to do something about nuisance lawsuits filed against physicians. That side effect is called “defensive medicine.”

So we are clear, when physicians practice “defensive medicine,” they usually order unnecessary tests or procedures just in case they get sued.  According to a 2010 survey of physicians by Gallup for Alpharetta-based Jackson Healthcare, one of every four dollars spent in health care goes to defensive medicine. Read the rest of this entry »