EY Partner Addresses Health Care Reform

Dee Balle, Jr., Ernst & Young partner in the health care arena, spoke on RadioWallStreet on the issue of how the November election will affect sectors of the health care industry.

In a recent voter survey by The Washington Post, 44% of respondents ranked health care as a concern above education, crime, and economy, and 53% indicated they are dissatisfied with the current U.S. health care system.

The two presidential platforms are fairly close in their response to health care issues, however some people question whether either party is adequately addressing the issues.

Balle listed the four major health care issues covered by the party platforms as:
1. Expanding health care coverage to encompass more of the 44 million Americans that don't have acces to coverage.
2. Improving patient rights.
3. Addressing the high cost of prescription drugs, which has been going up about 15% per year. Seniors are especially impacted by this rise in cost.
4. Maintaining solvency of the Medicare trust fund.

Balle predicts that the next President and Congress will have to address at least these eight health care issues within the next 18 months:

1. Medicare reform - prescription drug benefits, and enhancement of medicare+choice program
2. Quality of care - there has been a high number of medical errors in US hospitals; additional quality requirements which will drive up costs for hospitals
3. Privacy of medical records - the feeling is that there needs to be more privacy to protect patients
4. Outpatient reimbursement under Medicare - this program was implemented August 1 and will be monitored
5. Access to care - the number of uninsured is up 6 million from 1992; tax incentives for purchasing health insurance will be considered as well as expanding access to Medical Savings Accounts
6. Patient rights - patients can't sue health plan for denials of coverage that are based on medical judgement; patient rights advocates are pushing Congress to do something to protect patients
7. Fraud & abuse issues - public percenption is that fraud & abuse is rampant
8. Effect of Balanced Budget Act of 1997 - the act was enacted to respond to double digit annual growth of Medicare but it had a significant negative impact on the financial health of hospitals and field nursing facilities. A new act enacted in 1999 is trying to put more reimbursement back into Medicare but hasn't had much impact.

The entire 30-minute audio broadcast is available on line.

You may like these other stories...

By Jason Bramwell, Staff WriterA recent survey of nearly 100 US financial executives by Deloitte LLP found that 42 percent of respondents pointed to the Affordable Care Act as the reason they had to pass further health care...
By Ken Berry Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) used for health care expenses just became slightly more flexible. On October 31, the IRS announced that employers can modify the "use-it-or-lose it" rule...
Dementia has become the number one cause of disability globally, according to the World Health Organization. Stroke, which can also profoundly impair judgment and decision making, stands at number two. "This year,...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 16
Hand off work to others with finesse and success. Kristen Rampe, CPA will share how to ensure delegated work is properly handled from start to finish in this content-rich one hour webinar.
Jul 17
This webcast will cover the preparation of the statement of cash flows and focus on accounting and disclosure policies for other important issues described below.
Jul 23
We can’t deny a great divide exists between the expectations and workplace needs of Baby Boomers and Millennials. To create thriving organizational performance, we need to shift the way in which we groom future leaders.
Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.